County to sell less water, hike rates 12%+

Despite yanking $2 million from its cash reserves, the Albemarle County Service Authority unveils a budget that will spike water/sewer bills at least 12 percent. Three reasons for a bigger budget despite sales estimated to fall seven percent: a wholesale price increase, more capital projects, and the phenomenon of lower sales itself. Charlottesville Tomorrow reports on today's meeting.

27 comments

While we are at it, what's with Minol L.P. doing the billing and sending bills out only a week before they are due and charging 5 dollars for a late bill and 3 dollars to pay online? Nobody else charges to pay online on time! And people on Social Security who are on it for low income do not get their checks until the first of the month, exactly when the water bills are due. So really we are taxing the poorest in our community through this paid billing company. Why can't billing be done in house or through a more reasonable company?

There aren't many industries where demand drops and prices rise. Not a bad business model, particularly in today's economy.

So how does one start one of these so-called "Service Authorities?"

Most days it's cool to be on a well. On days like this it's downright gleeful to be on a well!

This news makes it even more amazing that anyone can support RWSA's "community water supply plan" with a straight face.

We now have a SEVEN YEAR TREND OF DECLINING WATER USE - in total contradiction to the claims of RWSA and The Nature Conservancy. Their claims are ever more clearly being exposed as the statistical manipulation, obfuscation, and deceit that they truly are. (Many of us have long believed that they intentionally exaggerate current and future water use in order to sell their plan/experiment on the backs of the entire city and the small population within the county that is not on a well.)

It's great that our community has adopted green strategies to reduce water use on such a consistent and sustained basis. We all deserve credit for that, especially UVA, which has permanently replaced older, water-hogging equipment.

Let's use this CONTINUING DECLINE IN WATER USE -- AND CONTINUING DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASE IN WATER COST -- to stop the insanity and go back to square one on the 'water plan.'

We just can't afford to move blindly forward with a clearly deficient plan that may be EIGHT-TO-TEN TIMES THE COST of the simple solution of dredging the Rivanna Reservoir.

Time for a rate payer revolt ? County folks your chance will come June 4th 7pm-- public hearing before your unelected rate setters, the board of the Albemarle County Service Authority. Mark your calendars !

This is what happened last year as reported by the Hook :

"County water bills will spike 20 percent this year, if rates proposed by the Albemarle County Service Authority win approval. The increase would combine with last year’s 30 percent jump to mean customers would pay 55 percent more than just two years ago and nearly triple what they paid in 1999."

http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2008/05/08/county-water-rates-...

and wasn't it last year that Mr. Gaffney told us rates in the county wouldn't exceed 2.5% for the next 5 years

and they are taking $2 million cash out of their reserve--guess what happens when the reserve is gone

Remember the banking collapse. Would you believe someone who told you that you could borrow 4 times more money but your rates wouldn't increase? Well that's where the water authority and their board are headed unless we call a halt to the insane debt load they are planning to place on the county and city rate payers.

the banks got a bail-out but the only bail-out for the RWSA is you --the rate payer-- and they have unlimited power to raise your rates especially if you use less water.

http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2009/03/02/usage-dwindles-but-...

Democrats,

Does anyone recall the last Democratic Breakfast where Liz Palmer, the self professed EXPERT on the Community Water Plan, lectured us on Water Rates. Do you really want to wait until it is too late and we are deep in debt and saddled with this experiment of The Nature Conservancy? Recall the idiotic Supervisor who appointed this woman. This is just beyond any reasonable misunderstanding!

Keith, you might be in danger of being sued by long-lost fitness guru Susan Powter. She copyrighted "stop the insanity" years ago; you are prohibited from using it. Now, before Mr. Trump copyrights his catchphrase, "You're fired!"

As for the serious issue of water, it is overrated, and citizens should not be going bald and losing sleep over minutae like water, shelter, crime, Dave Matthews, Dave Leitao, Dave Letterman, Dave Duke, etc. We should instead be focusing on the important things in life: Siegfried & Roy, Liberace's legacy, Jackie the Jokeman, etc.

Those who think water is so important need only look as far as the personal items aisle at the supermarket: we have waterless hand cleaner, hygienic wipes, diapers, RID (for those of you with galloping cranial critters), mouthwash...lots of options.

Don't worry. Be happy.

So if we use less water we will be punished for doing what was asked of us. I get it now, the whole system is focked up!

Did the Authority's staff get raises, market-rate adjustments or pay-for-performances this year?

Let me get this straight? It was just a year or so ago that ACSA demanded a rate increase to "Curb Demand and Enforce Conservation". Now that we're truly using less water, it now needs a rate increase BECAUSE we, the consumers, "CURBED DEMAND AND CONSERVED?!?!?!"

At what point do WE, the consumers, ACTUALLY comeout to the EVEN in this equation? I don't require a WIN, just BREAK EVEN.

Cville Eye, I believe the answer to your question is yes. Mr. Frederick addressed that in the last board meeting and I will check the minutes as soon as I have time and give you a more detailed account.

Betty, while you are checking the minutes can you please check and see if the whole system is focked up? thanks!

What they've done makes sense. If you understand the astounding amount of infrastructure work ahead, the costs are worth it.

Please Jim, you will explain won't you. If this makes sense then many of us are in need of some help in seeing how. Take a few minutes to educate us.

Cville Eye, Jenn McDaniels of chn 29 reports:

"Whether you're doing laundry, washing dishes, or taking a shower, if the hike is approved, there's no way to avoid paying more. For an average family, the monthly bill would increase from about $61 to $70. It may only seem like a few dollars each month, but if you look at the change over time, the increase is more significant.

In 2007, the average bill was about $42. With the increase, and the $70 average bill, the numbers work out to a $30 spike over the two year period.

In addition to the rate proposal, the service authority is also putting forward a budget 20 percent larger than this year's budget. They say capital project costs are increasing from $6.9 million to $12.6 million. The plan also calls for a two percent average increase for all employees."

These capital project costs do not include the estimated RWSA $200 million dam/pipeline concept and treatment facility upgrades.

I just piss in the sink since I can't afford to flush.

Is there a publically available audit of the water authority?

Jim, Jim, Jiiiiimmm....

Still there JIm? I'm waiting to see how this makes sense.

I know I'm not alone.

Anyone want to help him?

In answer to the question is there an audit available Downing Smith provided this information:

"Yes there are."

http://www.rivanna.org/documents/report_annual_fy2008.pdf

"The auditor's opinion is on pages 11 & 12. Though this contains a lot of boilerplate it does say what they have and have not audited. All they audited are the financial statements and not any of the graphs or management statements. It is also important to understand what audits really do and realize their limitations. Remember Bernard Madoff had audited statements. However Robinson, Farmer & Cox is a respected local firm and there probably isn't anything illegal going on. The problem is the management is incompetent and things like hiring consultants is horribly mishandled."

I think 'Never Been to a Game' has the best attitude AND the best post of all of us!

Never has changed my attitude ... hell, let's go ahead and build this water park and run up the tab until we go bankrupt. We can probably get it done in time for the 2024 elections and the 2025-bailout plan!

This is the most inaccurate assessment of a team I've ever read. Trading Mark DeRose, of whom was entering the last year of his contract and exiting arguably the peak of his career, was the smartest choice made by GM Jim Hendry. Hendry got what he wanted in the deal, prospects (possibly for the Peavy deal) and a salary push.

Now, you talk about Kosuke. He was pretty bad towards the end of '08, yes. That said, who would take him if Hendry really ending up trying to trade him???

As for Ramirez, "reluctant to stop the ball". ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! He should have been, and almost was, an all-star third basemen. He stopped more balls coming at him than you did on New Years.

Glad I wasted 20 minutes on this garbage article.

I have to agree with the previous post. There are so many mistakes and stupid comments made in this article I'm not sure where to start.

First of all, DeRosa was traded on December 31. Which if my math is correct that is about 19 days after the winter meetings ended. So no Dero was not traded during the winter meetings(I knew from there it was going to be all downhill.)

Second, when the cubs aquire jake peavey it will make sense.

Thirdly, if we dont want Soriano, then who would take him off our hands. NOBODY. Nobody wants a $17 million dollar a year leadoff hitter that bats .280. So we're stuck with him. This also goes for Fukodome.

Lastly, the comments about Ramirez may be the most ridiculous comments in the whole article (and believe me there are some stupid ones). I think that the last post took care of that one.

JUANITA GILES needs to do her research next time she writes an article. Better idea. Don't write about the cubs anymore. You are clearly misinformed.

Wow, what a bad article! I concur with the previous two commenters. It's too bad that ESPN will post a link to any sports-related garbage they find on the web.

Horrible horrible article. I couldn't disagree more with every word of it.

The only thing the postseason performance of our team attests to is the randomness of baseball. Soriano is still a huge offensive weapon, and hit 29 HRs with tons of time on the DL, both of which you mention, yet somehow this is bad?

Ramirez is tons more valuable than Mark Derosa, whose only job on our team was to fill all the holes and be around par (usually subpar) on defense. Mark had a freak of an offensive season and a career year and he can move on elsewhere with one year left on his contract.

Don't try to blame the Cubs misfortune on Hendry, who has done a spectacular job almost every season.

No one KNOWS less than the fans who populate "Wriggley Field". I'm from downstate and rarely attend, good for me!! I have no lo9ve or simpathy for Jim Hendry Or Ron Santo { I have Diabetes also. One is a moron the other a crybaby. So string me up if you don't like that. LOL Quit smoking whatever, PEAVY is not coming Tto Chi-town, he has better sense. I am tired of personel comig to the CUBS wanting to carry on the CUB Tradition, that means losing for over a century.

Well, if we have such a good team, why is it we can not unload some of our crap...I agree, Derosa gone is hard to stomach, however we have a dont make me hussle LEE at first, also that goes along with Ramirez and Soriano, that have a problem grasping the real idea of the way Sandberg played. I understand I have only been a Cub fan since 1947, but some one has to kick what we have in the A$$, before we miss our opportunity.

Must be a Sox fan, Keeping DeRosa was not going to put the Cub's back in the playoff's.
The White Sox dumped alot of talent, Rag on
them for awhile.