White Springs – Florida Rural Water Rate Study
Mr. Bob Means with Florida Rural Water Association presented an assessment on his study of the water/wastewater rates. The last study was in July 2013. Although there is a positive balance, we are not creating reserves. The rates have to pay for the operation of the system. Yet we did not misspend money or cause the cash flow problem but obviously we are the ones who have to pay for what the officials and town managers have done.
And even though the Water System was paid for in its entirety, we apparently have a loan on the water system. I knew at one time we were paying something like $49,000 a year because our town took a loan out on the collateral. Then it was lowered to approximately $32,000. I do not know what figures were given to Mr. Means, but it was stated that the water rate will go up by 3% each year. Mr. Means will revisit the rates in six months but it looks as if there will be no break in the water rate. Yet we have not heard anything in two years about this situation.
Although Walter McKenzie told everyone he would revisit the sewer rate increase since ours is 250% over any other town’s rate, that has never happened. Rhett Bullard gave five dollars back per month so he would not lose votes. And Willie asked for a two dollar or less reduction in price per month which was taken by the increased garbage pickup. Walter McKenzie, per the minutes of the meeting, went on to say that the increase for water and wastewater was necessary because there had not been one in a number of years even though the Town of White Springs had an interlocal agreement with the county to increase rates annually. He wanted to know why the 3% increase was not done annually when it was voted on. Yet as the longest councilor along with Tonja Brown no one seemed to remember; nor did Pam Tomlinson or Shirley Heath. Tickler systems are never used by our Town but the sewer increase is phenomenal and it would not be bad if it were used to fix pipes and the like. But right now the citizens are getting nothing for their money.
This is just sad for the Town of White Springs when much of the problem has come from special rates for special people so that the poor of our community could pick up the towns inadequacies.
Karin for the blog