More Water, Please

Goodness, now here’s an interesting comment on the proposed water rate hike and infrastructure.

wrote on Apr 27, 2008 9:06 AM:

” This is BS! Sure rates should go up sometime but the fact that they are saying that they need to build additional infrastructure is crazy. Our community is currently at 41,000 in population with a storage and pumping capacity for 65,000. How fast do you think we expect to see 24,000 more people here? We are pumping the same amount of water today as 20 years ago the city manager said at the last council meeting. We are generally more efficient today than 20 years ago and will get more efficient. This is a cash cow for the city. “

I heard Mr. Biernacki’s comment. I think he said 35 years, actually, and he’s in part justifying the increase because some costs are rising but we’re not using any more water, so we all need to pay more for the same amount. Or something. Moo.

3 thoughts on “More Water, Please”

  1. The city is just looking for money to fix a mistake in the watermain loop on the southside of DeKalb. There has been a pressure/volume problem down at that end of town for sometime and now they would like to fix it.

    I’ve been trying to figure numbers since the last council meeting and it doesn’t make sense that we are even considering another above ground tank. If the city manager was correct in his numbers, boomer44 is pretty close. We still have a capacity of over 20,000 users and the new subdivisions on the drawing board for a total of 6,000 homes still wouldn’t use the remaining capacity. Think of the dollars in hook up fees that will be generated if 6,000 homes are added. I’m figuring conservately well over $9 million dollars in just the fees.

    Are we sure that these increases are not being caused by over guessing future growth? Are we actually paying these new increases because of the remaining capacity of 20,000 plus? Remember, the water mains, hydrants, and laterals to the homes to supply the water are paid for by the developer who in turn gives the city the rights thus another asset for the water department.

    I really wish the council would ask more questions about future expansion, todays real costs in operations, and what this money is really for. Am I the only one out there with these questions or as boomer44 states, is this really just a cash cow for the city?

  2. Overestimating growth is real as a problem and a condition. To sell and occupy 6000 new homes would take 20 years at a rate equal to our historic peak of growth (300 home per year). The two projects Ivan mentioned as on the drawing board are just that and there are several of those types of projects where the developers have just walked away — Cortland has downsized their housing start projections 70%.

    So that makes the new water connection fees kind of pie in the sky numbers. But the proposed water rate increases are community-wide and indifferent to new or existing homes.

    There’s also, in the justification of the rate increases, language that suggests some of the funds to be used for sanitary system needs. The DeKalb sanitary district appears to be in very solid financial condition. Perhaps they don’t need the City of DeKalb’s generous help.

  3. That’s very interesting that the City of DeKalb would be concerned about the sanitary district. The sanitary district has their own hook up fee for the purpose of expansion and repair. Does it state how much would go to the sanitary district or is it just extra wording to make it look like there is a need for the city’s rate increase? Sounds like the city is just piling on their reasons to justify an increase to all of the water users.

    Another question Mac, maybe you know. Does NIU pay for their water hook ups when they put another building online? How about when they put up their married student housing? What fees did they pay for water hook up? Convocation Center? Target? 3M?

    It would be nice to know who gets what for free and who actually pays their way.

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