Filling in the facts (April 3, 2017)

Thanks to John Pedigo for verifying my claim that Hesperia charges for the installation of water service (“Missing information,” Daily Press, April 3, 2017).

But that was only one of the points I was trying to make. When you are charged thousands for a water connection, that becomes a hidden cost of water delivery. If a residential hookup is “only” $6,700 in Hesperia as this writer claimed, that is still 89 times more than the refundable deposit Liberty Utility gets, and 42% more than the total of what my wife and I have paid for water here in Apple Valley over the last eleven years. And that $6,700 is for just the hook-up, not for any water usage, bi-monthly service fees, or system maintenance and upgrades: Those are extra.

Adding that amount to the cost of the house increases your mortgage and the interest you pay. It also increases the assessed value, so your property taxes are higher. All of these go into the hidden costs of water in a municipal water system.

Buying a used home or renting doesn’t insulate you from these hidden costs because somehow, somewhere, someone has to pay them. They might be part of the selling price of the home; they pay be part of the rent. Regardless of the form, they must be paid, because although they are hidden they are still due and payable.

In Apple Valley, when you get a water bill from Liberty Utilities, what you see is what you get. The total price is right there on your bill in black and white. You will never see that transparency from a municipally-run utility, especially not the one Town Hall proposes for us in Apple Valley.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.

Published: Daily Press, April 10, 2017