First, I like Brian. I think he's smart and works hard. However, I don't know who anointed Brian's work on the water bill issue as a "study." The newspaper article gave no facts of the "study." The article was only an interview of Brian and the word "study" was used. A true "study" has many elements. Rather than discussing them here, the following link takes you to a brief outline of what should be in a study.
If a true "study" was performed, there should be a whole bunch of facts proving up the City Manager's assertions. Those assertions are simply, we use more water and the cost (price?.....not necessarily the same) of water is more than what we used to use. No definitive facts of consequence were mentioned......anywhere.
However, the article did quote Brian on some interesting observations. Most interesting was rate of price increasing from year to year. Brian says there has been a 10% per year increase in water rates over the past five years. Just the 10% increase per year equates to a 74.34% total increase in rate over five years. Therefore, the water rate alone is almost sufficient to cause your water bill to double over the last five years, assuming the same rate of water usages. If you used 25% more water since the drought years, that would double your water bill. This would have been a nice "fact" to put in the "study." I guess it didn't make the cut.
I've got another question. How did Garland get into the loop? The Lakeview Times article says that Garland has been increasing prices and it added to Rowlett's price increase. I didn't know we had Garland as a middleman. I'd like an explanation of this.
I also want to return to a question I raised the other day. That question referred to the fact we water customers were paying for water we couldn't use because we were restricted and the NTMWD couldn't provide that amount of water anyway because of the drought. Now, we can add to that equation, the price of water went up 10% per year.
People, I smell a rat. I'd like to pull all the above together..
Let's turn the clock back to 2008. I thought the water bill was still too high, but I could live with it. I knew we were paying for water we couldn't use and I didn't like it, but I wrote it off to poor negotiating skills of our previous leadership. Then we came to the drought. We were already paying for water we couldn't use, then we were restricted from using water we would like to use, but couldn't but still had to pay for it, and now we have to calculate an increase of cost of 10% for water we couldn't use, anyway. There's something fishy here.
Let me pose something here that you can bet wasn't in the "study."
In 2009, things were not great, but okay. Then the drought came. Water usage dropped. Revenue dropped!! People were going to be laid off. Salaries of upper management were in jeopardy. Paying for water we didn't use wasn't enough. Restrict use was only a band aid. Solution? Raise rates......a lot.....far over rate of inflation...........near the rate of the greedy pharmaceutical labs. Now, everybody can get their raises and bonuses. The consumer just took a baseball bat to the head.
Now that the drought is over, has anyone heard anything about water rates being reduced?
Somebody is getting fat with cash. Somebody is pilfering the cash register. Have you received a 75% raise over the past five years? Have you doubled your water usage over the same time?
There's a snake in the woodpile someplace.
Write the Texas Utility Commission.