I came by your office Thursday, but missed you. The subjects on my mind again were the water and sewer rate structures. Since it is budget time now, if there were changes to be made, now would be the time. I know I have had conversations with you about this before, but wanted to point out a few things I am sure you already know and talk about them. People who use small amounts of water put the least load on the water and sewage systems as opposed to high water usage individuals and businesses that put the most loads on the water and sewage systems.
At the budget hearing I brought this up to the council. I will be bringing it up again at the next budget hearing because I think the point was completely missed. After speaking, the only conversation the council had among itself related to "the gas company charges a minimum rate, the electric company charges a minimum rate and everyone else charges a minimum rate, so I guess it is ok if we charge a minimum rate too." That is rather irritating for an answer.
When I wanted to do something as a kid I would use the justification that "well so and so is doing it." The response from my parents was generally, " If so and so jump off a cliff, would you jump also?" This isn't kid stuff, and those are improper responses for these topics, in my opinion. Bob especially, and the rest of them too, just didn't get it the point of my question.
The way I see it, the effect of the rate structure is to severely penalize water conversation and reward water usage. Financially it is unfair to all low usage residents and ecologically it does not promote conservation of reasonably limited and valuable natural resource.
It is not uncommon for me to use 1,000 gallons every 2 months. That makes the effective cost of water for me somewhere around $16.95 per 1,000 gallons. A person who does not care about conservation of water and uses 40,000 gallons of water a month pays only $3.369 per 1,000 gallons, the cheapest possible rate throughout the water rate structure. The effect of the current water and sewage rate structure is to massively penalize anyone who conserves or just by nature, uses little water.
If you want, feel free to pull up my water bill for my home, 500 S. Waterview Drive as well as for my business at 3396 N. Plano Road. Both at home and at the shop, we have very low water usage. If I remember correctly in previous conversations, you had said the average water usage throughout the city was about 11,000 gallons per month. I don't remember if that was residential or residential and commercial.
The point I am still not clear on, why is it necessary to have the minimum fee on the water and sewer rate structure especially considering the abhorrent effects it has on those who use so little water? It would seem simple enough to restructure the fee to include charges for only water used and totally eliminate the minimum fee for all. Thus doing would make water charges exactly proportional to use, reward those who do conserve and put the bulk of the charge on the backs of those who put the highest loads on the water and sewage systems.
Is there a reason that changes cannot be done, other than because "that is the way everyone else does it, so we will too?"
Thank you for your time Dan, and I apologize if this is just too dumb of a question to ask. I seem to be the only person who does ask it, and that has me concerned. Why others wouldn't be asking the same thing is a mystery to me. It seems such a simple thing to understand and rectify.