Water Rates go up, up, up

So once again the water rates are the topic of conversation and its all about raising them.

It is said that we have neglected our water and waste system, who is the “WE”. No one ever called my house and asked me if I want to continue to neglect our infrastructure, I don’t sit on any boards or communities. I just pay my taxes and fees. To be honest EVERY SINGLE time I have come before the dias at city council the council pretends they don’t work for us and they are untouchable. The most elder councilman Ed Scott has had plenty of time to begin working on these problems. Joe Baca Jr has been in local politics long enough to know this was coming on the municipal and State level. Plus Mrs Robertson and Mayor Vargas have been around quite a while and nothing has been done.

something that perplexes me though are they selling us water at cost? Meaning after all the bills are paid there isn’t anything left over? That would mean were not back filling or have been back filling the general fund with monies that could have been used to begin to start dealing with our infrastructure issues?

What I love is how Stephen Dopudja, a civil engineer with Irvine-based SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure LLC who the council is paying with our tax dollars all but uses an agency he isn’t a part of or has any say in to threaten the residents of this city.

Im sorry Rialto Governing board we the people have nothing left to give, you want to over tax us and fee us to death. Un employment numbers are high and are only dropping because people are giving up on looking for work because it’s so hopeless. If you raise the rates you had better find a innovative collection agency to work with because the residents probably wont be able to pay their bills.

If the system is this bad I call on all Senior members of our city government who have ignored and mismanaged funds to this point to step down and resign.

Rialto officials will separate rate proposal from American Water issue

Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer

Posted: 12/08/2011 01:20:41 PM PST

RIALTO – City of Rialto officials will be seeking significant hikes in water and wastewater treatment rates early next year.This effort will separate highly-charged issue of whether or not American Water Works Co. Inc. will manage the city’s water operations for 30 years.

“It doesn’t matter what we do (on that). Rates have go to go up,” Mike Story, city administrator, said during a meeting of the Rialto Utilities Commission Tuesday night.

Last summer, when the motion to outsource the water department to American Water died on a 2-2 vote by city council, officials said that large rate increases would be coming.

For years, various city councils have ducked the politically unpopular vote to increase water and wastewater rates.

The result has been that the city’s aging water infrastructure now needs some $40 million in upgrades and repairs.

Story said that a rate request in some form will likely come before city council during its Jan. 10 meeting.

Regardless of that date, the issue will not be considered during council meetings scheduled for Tuesday or Dec. 27, he said.

A vote by the council to boost water and wastewater rates would be subject to a Proposition 218 vote, meaning that a negative vote by 50 percent of the property owners – plus one vote – would block the increase.

The voting period ends 45 days after the council’s affirmative vote.

For several weeks, utility commission members have been developing a “Water, Wastewater & Rate Education Outreach” plan to tell in great detail why the rate increases are necessary – and what payments to the water system buy.

The board consensus Tuesday night was that there will be three or four public meetings offered at different times and locations – when it has been determined what the rate increase will be.

Stephen Dopudja, a civil engineer with Irvine-based SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure LLC, said that city residents elsewhere in the state have decided to neglect their water system and repeatedly defeat water rate increases.

But ultimately the state steps in.

“The Department of Public Health is not going to let water systems become a health hazard. They will come in and levy fines in the millions of dollars,”

Then the ratepayers in those city must pay for needed improvements – and the fines.

“The question is does Rialto want to be part of the solution,” he said.

SAIC has been hired by the city as a consultant for water and wastewater issues.

jim.steinberg@inlandnewspapers.com, 909-386-3855

Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/ci_19498669#ixzz1fyw2t1rF

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