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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Trying to understand the drastic increase in our water bill

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by Jan Joplin, Kennedale resident
We are trying to understand why we had such a drastic increase in our water bill and why the plan that was put in place is so costly. We understand there is a need to have a reserve for emergencies, a need for repairs and maintenance for our aging pipes and water towers. {{more:[read more]}}
The questions are why weren’t these projects budgeted and forecast years ago?
It shouldn’t be a surprise that reserves will be needed, old pipes will need to be replaced or repaired and the water towers will need to be refurbished. And if it was budgeted, what happened to that money? But here we are and funds are low.
It’s my understanding to raise the extra funds needed a committee came up with a “plan” that the majority of our city council voted for that is severely financially hurting the citizens. There-in lies the million dollar question we are all asking…..what can be done???
As I met with many of my neighbors the stories were all very similar:
  • A young single lady living pay check to pay check, her water bill has tripled and having to get help from her parents.
  • A family of 3 (2 adults and a child) last water bill is S180 and haven’t even started watering. “We are worried I”
  • A young family wondering if city money is being used wisely – like the grant matching for landscaping that we are now watering, rather than grants for infrastructure.
  • A single mom?s water bill has doubled to $51.35 and not sure how she’s going to pay it.
  • A single young man taking on all the house-hold responsibilities from his mom’s recent death is struggling to make ends meet and couldn’t figure out why the water bill had gone up so much.
  • Grandparents raising their grandson trying to keep up with his needs are struggling with bills.
  • Senior widow on fixed income doesn’t know how she’s going to pay and sure won’t be able to water her yard. (many said there bills are already so high and worried because they hadn’t even started watering their yards)
  • A young father with a small child thought the increase was because of the smart meters and didn’t know what to do.

I could go on but suffice it to say everyone was busy trying to live their life as best they can and trusting that our city officials are doing their best too. Not many of us have the time to “look” at everything the city is doing and it may appear that things get “overlooked” but we certainly don’t think you’re making decisions that cause us financial harm. I learned a long time ago that if you want to get someone mad just mess with their money.

Of all the many houses I visited only 4 declined to sign the petition to recall our water increase. Bottom line for everyone, this increase is a big problem. They were very thankful for a voice through the petition to let the city know we are asking for help.
I am still hoping we have a city council, city manager and mayor that is working 100% for the citizens. lf that’s the case, I believe, hope and pray we will find a resolution.
Link: Email concerns or questions: shameonkennedalewater@hotmail.com

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