Orchard City water rate increase hits hard
By Gary Cape
Published Thursday, August 17, 2017 9:18 am
Some good news and some bad news out of Orchard City. First, the good: Duane of Orchard City staff detected a significant water leak somewhere on my property. We couldn't tell where but just knowing was priceless. Thanks, Duane. Then Eric of S & E Wards came on short notice and quickly fixed the leak. Great job. Thanks, Eric.
Bad news: Orchard City's new, outrageous water rates increase hit me more than hard. June bill was $134 (similar usage from year ago was $79). July bill was $326! July (with the leak) used 47 percent more water, but the bill was 142 percent (!) more than June's. I was going to joke about taking out loans to pay our water bills. But the joke is on the water users of Orchard City. A bad joke because some users are going to have to pay their obscenely high bills with credit cards.
The Orchard City council should immediately cut the rate increase to 10 or 15 percent, enough to overcome the operations deficit. And then rebuild the reserves through a modest surcharge on new taps and regular water bills. Either that or resign.