Reasons for opposing rate increases
This is a copy of a letter sent to the Ramona Municipal Water District.
By Fred McNorton
We are opposed to the Ramona Municipal Water District’s water rate increases as proposed by the undated letter to us customers.
The following reasons are in support of our position against this usurious rate increase.
1. 2010’s current inflation rate is projected at 2.2 percent, not the 12 percent you’re asking. Note: 2009’s inflation rate was -0.4 percent. What did you do with the extra funds?
2. Senior citizens, in the area living on a fixed income of Social Security, have had the federal government reduce their income by -3.3 percent each year over the next two years for an estimates -6.6 percent loss.
3. You say that the electric rates are estimated to be $2.0 million. Is this new added cost or the total cost that we are currently paying plus the 2.4 percent that is the proposed rate increase by the utility? What is the past electric cost? What is the difference between the old rate and the new rate? What is the percent increase of this rate?
4. The last increase that was awarded was used for salaries, bonuses and wage increases of an estimated 3 percent to 6.5 percent, while the rest of us are experiencing layoffs, negative and zero increases to an estimated 2.25 percent.
5. The “Pass through Ordinances” states that the RMWD can pass through all “increase” up to 35 percent. You say nothing about any decreases that may occur. Why not? Why would you not pass the decreases through to us customers?
We are opposed to this increase because of the following reasons:
1. You’re going to have the ability to increase the water and sewer rates to a maximum of 47 percent with no oversight. The estimated inflation rate is 2.0 percent and was -0.4 percent for 2009.
2. This request does not “pass through” any decreases in purchases that may occur.
3. Estimated inflation rate for this year (2010) is estimated at 2.2 percent, not your 12 percent to 47 percent.
4. You have not stated, by program, how these funds are going to be used. It is just a Big Basket of Stuff. What are the programs and cost range for each? It appears that there are no controls.
5. You do not appear to have a cap or a hold on salaries, bonuses or wages during this period.
6. You have not stated the actual expected cost increase of electrical usage and the effective percentage impact.
If you were really serious about cost and conservation, then you would have the Plumbing Building Codes changed to require that all new plumbing construction, retrofitting or piping and re-piping to have a times re-circulating pump system to reduce the wasting of water during the time that people let the hot water run down the drain to get hot water to the shower or faucet. This could save an estimated $1 million to $2.5 million plus a year in wasted water just in the RMWD service area.
Thank you for your valuable time.
Fred McNorton is a Ramona resident.
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