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Marco Utilities DID break their word not to raise rates beyond COLA for X years. (You say 5, I remember 6 or 8, but it really makes no difference.) They raised rates by "tiering" them in such a way that the lowest rate dropped by 1 cent per thousand gallons while the highest-use rate increased by $1.43 a thousand. Everyone who used water for irrigation paid more each month under this scheme. It certainly was not "revenue neutral" as Finance Director Harrison claimed so it amounted to a "raise in rates."
I'd also point out that it should have been quite easy to know whether the water lines were leaking PRIOR to buying the utility. All the City need to have done was to check the amount of water processed by the Florida Water plants each month and compare that with the total usage as determined by summing the meter readings. The difference was lost in the system. Did the city do that before buying the utility? I don't know. If they didn't, they were stupid and should have; if they did and didn't tell anyone, they knew all along that they were buying a piece of junk and the people would have to pay to fix it! For shame!
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