Saturday, January 16, 2021

Letter to the Editor: From Wayne Waldack

Recently I received the following question in an email from a Citizen of Marco Island:

“Please tell me how you justify a 6000 gallon cap or even the 4000 gallon cap on sewer outflow.” 

I replied:

“Justification is easy”.

1.  The Taxpayers of the City of Marco Island paid approximately $97,000 to Burton & Associates for a Cost of Service (COS) Study and probably spent a similar sum of money for Staff Time and supplies to supply the necessary documentation that was required or needed to perform the COS.

2.  Burton & Associates does about 60 such studies per year and have been doing this for years. They are experts and have been providing water and sewer rates for numerous cities.

3.  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.

My replies to the 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 was 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 adjustments to the water/sewer rates as proposed by Burton & Associates would serve to penalize some rate payers for the sole benefit of one class of rate payers. 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.

My interest in this whole matter is to save Property Owners of Marco Island dollars. The proposal I had made was to transfer All Utility Debt to Ad-Valorem by Referendum. That would have given you the right to eliminate and remove the costly Capacity Charges from your water bill. This would have saved most Property Owners Hundreds of Dollars Annually.

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