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Citizens invited to discuss issues

 


 

The Coulee Dam Town Council will begin budget deliberations soon. The first public budget workshop will be held during the regular council meeting on September 10th. We will be holding a series of these workshops and the first of these will focus on our water utility. You are encouraged to attend.

Each of the “enterprise” funds has an effect on your family budget. What you pay for water, sewer, electricity, and garbage has its impact. If you are on a fixed income, those fees may be of more concern to you. We want to insure that our fees are set and distributed fairly and equitably.

Water, like milk and eggs, is considered a “commodity.” Yet some would have you pay for more (much more) than you actually need or may even want. Is that wasteful, politically expedient, reasonable? The other side of that discussion is the suggestion that you should be “required” to buy enough water to insure (encourage) green lawns, trees, and shrubbery.

The discussion of “rates” is often contentious, misunderstood, difficult to explain, and divisive. As examples: should those users that conserve water be rewarded? Should a user with an average sized lot be required to pay for more water than they need or use? Should the homeowners receive discounts for irrigation? Should we strive to provide lower cost to those that use less water or lower costs to those that use more of it? Should your standard of lawn/landscape be the required standard of your neighbor? As it is now (if or not you need it or use it) you pay for over 73,000 gallons of water each month … while, in fact, 75 percent of our households use less than 15,000 gallons per month.

A few years ago the Town Council passed a resolution that automatically increases water rates each year… needed or not. Hopefully, we will rethink that policy and set rates based upon our actual budget needs. This is a policy matter of and for the Town Council. What are your thoughts?

We appreciate your opinion and hopefully you will attend our workshops and council meetings.

 

F. Gregory Wilder

Mayor, Coulee Dam

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