Water math (April 26, 2017)

It has been interesting seeing the shifting claims of the Town and its supporters regarding water rates in Apple Valley. Originally, when I pointed out there were hidden fees on municipal water bills compared to the transparent bill from Liberty Utilities, they denied there were hidden fees. Once that position proved untenable, the response became that thousands of dollars in hidden fees somehow didn’t count as part of the cost of water delivery. That unsupportable position then morphed into bizarre attempts to downplay the hidden fees, often in combination with other dodges.

A fine example of this latest stage of denial can be seen in Tony Tyler’s April 26th letter to the editor, Fuzzy math and water (Daily Press). Ignoring the fact that some have complained about their water bills going up a few dollars per year under Liberty Utilities, Mr. Tyler cavalierly dismisses $30 per month as inconsequential. As a point of comparison, the bi-monthly water bill for my wife and me is around $60, so our bill would double if we were on a municipal water system.

Mr. Tyler then complains about Liberty’s payroll and equipment. Compared to what? Government employee compensation is always higher than that in private enterprise, and the Town is proposing to buy all that expensive equipment, plus profits to date, plus interest, etc., to buy something we already have. How could that possibly save money?

And as for that new well on Apple Valley Road, it sits unused because the Town forced Liberty Utilities to stop construction on it. This was not a business decision, but a political one. We will all get more of the same should the Town succeed in seizing our water system.

I did, however, like Mr. Tyler’s swipe at the Town’s claim to offer a better way of life.

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