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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Major water rate increase

The SJ-R is reporting our municipally owned water utility wants a bigger piece of us.

A near doubling of Springfield’s water rates was proposed Wednesday night to pay for $84.4 million in infrastructure improvements to the city’s water-delivery system. That would include a new $67.5 million pump house to replace the existing one, which is more than 70 years old. (CWLP: Double water rates)

They want to phase in the increases between this March and September of 2009. By then, a household with a $16.56 bill would be paying $31.31. That's going to be difficult for some people to pay, I'm sure.

But aldermen who have toured the pump house vouched for its decrepit state.

When I toured the water plant more than ten years ago, they wouldn't let the public into the pump house. I don't remember the reason given, though. I can vouch that the filtration facility is totally awesome. It's spacious and clean and a bit of an engineering feat considering when it was built. I especially loved the vat where the water is so thick (or is it thin), that if a person were to fall in, they would immediately sink to the bottom with no hope of rising to the surface on their own. At least that's what the tour guide told as as we were leaning way over said vat.

Assuming everyone at the City is being honest and forthright, I say, do it. I was convinced even before I read what Dave wrote: "I think water is, and will continue to be, a good bargain considering how much we depend on it."

Others have reasonable questions.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, we are very fortunate to have our own water system. We want to keep it that way. Not that that's an issue.

Posted by Marie at January 31, 2008 11:41 PM