On our city council update we left you hanging because TAB 7 was pushed off until the next council meeting so that it could be addressed at the Water Workshop tonight. Veolia apparently took on a contract they can’t deliver.
TAB 7 from the last council meeting is Veolia was required to provide 4000 meters at a cost of $460,000 water meters, but because they failed to check the contract they only want to provide 1600 meters at a cost of $390.000 why can Veolia pick and choose what part of the contract they can follow? Do the residents have the option of when to pay their bills?
What is this contract and what is this workshop for tonight? Veolia agreed to take over water and waste water services for the next 30 years and were tasked with conducting a major infrastructure overhaul of the city’s water delivery system and waste water removal system. They have already and will continue to levy major rate increases on Rialto Water customers and they have paid $40 million dollars to the city of Rialto for this utility take over. What they did is take your money and make excuses for being behind by 1-2 years on many projects because they claim that American Water (the cities first choice for a water servicer) wrote a bad contract that can’t be delivered on the originally agreed terms.
Veolia isn’t new to Rialto they have been around working with our waste water services for years. So they can’t claim ignorance to how Rialto is structured or set up. There are two major issues with the delay one is Rialto Water Services customers are already one full year into a four year rate increase schedule. Two if this process is delayed too long the interest rates on the loan that was taken out to make the capital improvements will eat into the money needed to afford these projects. Back in June at the first workshop Veolia upper management was asked by Councilman O’Connell in the meeting if they would cover this gap if the situation arose and they said NO.
Back at the first Water Workshop in June the city council found out that Veolia has been hiding behind a lame excuse of we didn’t write this contract. The community’s response to that is you signed it before reading it? What Veolia saw was an opportunity to take the rate payers for a ride and leave us with no other recourse. This contract was written in a way that city hall has thrown its hands in the air saying were stuck!!!!!!!
Anyone watching the news and all the problems with Los Angeles’s DWP is having with blown water lines knows that’s not where we want to be. The problem is everyone is acting like they are powerless to make Veolia do their job. Ironically a week after the first water workshop in June the city experienced a sewer back up that spilled into the streets. What is more irritating is that the Capital Improvement Projects not being completed and the massive rate increases is not the end of the problems with Veolia. Here is a short list:
- Water meters are not being read they are being estimated. This means you are not likely to see any change in your water bill even though you’re cutting back on water usage.
- Horrible customer service. Veolia doesn’t seem to have a customer service supervisor Monday thru Friday because when they mess up your bill you have to wait weeks to receive a call back if you receive one at all.
- Lagging on processing payments. Veolia is slow to check the collection bin at the city of Rialto Civic Center and processes payments very slowly; you will get a late fee.
- Horrible water pressure. Since Veolia has taken over Rialto Water Services customers have noticed a major drop in water pressure.
Now is the time to get involved and engage. This is an election year and was in the thick of it. Now is the time to demand action and we have some resources for you.
You can Send us a Letter to the Editor to be published here to email@example.com
You can email Leslie Parrilla with the San Bernardino Sun at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Councilmember O’Connell email@example.com
Contact Councilmember Hitrz firstname.lastname@example.org