The Taxpayers of the City of Marco Island paid approximately $97,000 to Burton & Associates for a Cost of Service (COS) Study plus we probably spent a similar sum for staff time and supplies to supply the necessary documentation that was required/needed to perform the COS “estimate $194,000.” Hundreds of emails were sent to me by residents requesting that rates should be fair and equitable and that we should abide by the findings of the COS study.
Burton & Associates performs about 60 such studies per year and have been doing this for years. They are the experts in the field of providing water and sewer rates in many cities. In my replies to the many emails sent to me by the Citizens of Marco Island, I stated the following:
“It is my firm feeling that Water/Wastewater rates should not be a political decision. Water/wastewater rates should be fair, equitable and justifiable.
This reasoning is the why behind my request for an independent Cost of Service (COS) study and this is the reasoning I will use in making my recommendation in any new rate structure. City Councilmen should represent all Property Owners throughout Marco Island without prejudice.”
It is my feeling that any deviation from the water/sewer rates as proposed by Burton & Associates would be political in intent and would penalize some rate payers for the sole benefit of one class of rate payers or lower the sewer rate and raise the water rate. As I said above “Water/Wastewater rates should not be a political decision and City Councilmen should represent all Property Owners throughout Marco Island without prejudice. I may stand alone with my decision, but I do so with the conviction that my decision is based on the principal that I must represent all the rate payers without prejudice.