Letter To The Editor: Sewer Rate Increase Warranted
June 26, 2017 - accent chair
By BRADY BURKE
I went to a BPU meeting. There were about 15 people there and we was a customarily one that stood adult to pronounce out opposite a boost on a cesspool rate increase. we would have oral out opposite a beverage H2O increase, though they had a 45 page powerpoint display on energy sources by some outward consultant where we could not know her accent. That display was going to take hours and a Potable H2O emanate was somewhere after that. My condolences to a BPU for carrying to stay.
My initial criticism to a folks that don’t go to these meetings is that we have no one to censure for these rash increases if we customarily voice your concerns a week after a decisions are made. If we wait until it gets to a County Council, we have a most larger battle, since they are holding a recommendation of a Advisory Boards and ‘Stakeholders’ (Stakeholders = Private Interest Groups allocated by a County).
If we wish to uncover a County that we, a skill owners and residents of Los Alamos County, are a Stakeholders, afterwards we have to seem in vast numbers and object.
If we had been to a BPU assembly we would have been tender by all those concerned in a behind and onward over a cesspool issue, especially, Jeff Johnson (Chair) and Stephen McLin (Vice Chair) of a Board of Public Utilities. Even a Utilities deputy pronounced that there were other options to handling a rate increases. If we don’t have a assembly information, we can’t be effective during a County Council dispute level.
Here’s a severe dialog of how a display went (My apologes to a County Rep, for not carrying his name) :
County Utility guy: We’d like an 8 percent boost on a bottom assign for cesspool use to Los Alamos County Residents. Here are a numbers.
Public Comment (Brady Burke): Why do we need an 8 percent increase, what about all these things and a income that you’ve already collected?
BPU to County Utility guy: Yeah, what about those things? And what about these other things? These increases cost us as well.
County Utility guy: That information is scold and those are current concerns. Here is what has happened, because we need a boost and options by that we can improved conduct a money.
BPU: Rate boost approved.
If we were there, and we listened it all, like me and a BPU, we would be in agreement that a boost is fitting for now, though it needs to be managed differently and should have an finish date when a justification runs out.
We are not customarily given a ‘Send it Back for Revision’ choice once it hits a County Council, unless we have half a County in that Room arguing opposite it. You have a improved possibility of removing it revisited if a entertain of a County shows adult during a BPU meeting. One voice opposite a viewed needs of a County is not going to do it.
In a 30-45 mins while we was sitting there conference a display for a rate boost and reading a granted documents, a following questions came to mind and were uttered during a Public Comment section:
- Have a Residential use contra Commercial use costs of cesspool use been identified. All your numbers are for Residential. Where are a Commercial user numbers?
- Regarding Attachment A1, Rate increases for cesspool services have averaged 10% per year for a past 5 years. If your before justifications have been accurate, what have we finished with that money?
- Regarding Attachments D1 by D3, You are basing your augmenting costs opposite median domicile incomes of about $100K and presumption that those incomes are rising 2.5 percent per year. How can we clear that normal domicile income for those not employed by a Lab? How can we use a series like 2.5 percent annual income increases when many in city are on bound incomes and a Lab does not have a story of 2.5 percent salary increases. Where did we get your numbers to behind adult these assumptions?
- The 8 percent cost boost to a cesspool bottom price is an absolute, either a median domicile income increases 2.5 percent or not. Perhaps it should be tied to a tangible income increases.
- The commission boost to non-LANL worker domicile incomes is higher. You’re intermixing percentages and dollars as justification for a increases, selecting whichever creates we numbers demeanour better.
- Regarding Attachment E, a rates are being compared to counties with a shifting scale formed on consumption, nonetheless Los Alamos has adopted a prosaic price per gallon. A shifting use rate creates sense. Higher users implement a complement some-more than tiny users. Higher users have a larger event to adopt economizing behaviors to revoke costs. With a prosaic fee, no matter how most a smaller users economize, they can't revoke their cost, so there is no inducement to conserve.
- As replenishment of a money pot are compulsory for a imperative upkeep on a White Rock Water Treatment facility, are a supports being set aside for that purpose, or being finished accessible for other projects, emergencies, etc? If targeted, afterwards they can have an endpoint when a idea is reached. If used for all other funding, afterwards no one know when it can go divided and we continue to humour annual plan and upkeep cost increases but accountability.
Then a BPU had questions that we would have asked, if we had some-more than 3 minutes, and suspicion of them.
Thank we to a BPU for seeking a forked questions and to a County Utility man for being adult front with a answers.
For a rest of us, Be Involved and direct burden and clarity from a supervision representatives.