I congratulate City Council for finally making a decision on the utility rates. However, it is unfortunate that council did not accept the scientific M1 approach proposed by Mr. Magel and Mr. Waldack (Aug. 16, 2010 council meeting). The M54 rate design has a major flaw in that it “paints a broad brush” (Mike Burton-rate consultant March 16, 2012) which results in over charging low users within a class.
Approximately, 13 percent of all residential customers use less than 5,000 gallons/month of water, but because some homes use 135,000 gallons/month these low users end up paying a much higher capacity charge than they should. This situation is even worse in the commercial class. Almost 48 percent of the commercial customers use less than 5,000 gallons/month of water, but because a few customers use 4.9 million gallons/month the whole class is penalized.
Mr. Burton, the City’s consultant, told Council that further analysis needed to be done to fix this low user capacity problem. For some reason, Council chose to ignore the consultant advice. Why not fix this problem now, before someone challenges the City in court?
If a condo uses 5,000 gallons/month and pays $28.02 why should a home or business using the same amount of water be charged $49.01 or $55.06 respectively (note does not include $7.01 customer charge)? The answer is the “broad brush”. Contact your Council and demand that they complete the rate design the right way. Bring back Mr. Burton one more time and fix this injustice.
Kenneth E. Honecker