Let me start by emphasizing that the fairest methodology for utility billing of our residents is a…
My final article on Utility Billing Dec. 6, 2022 recognized three distinct water utilization clients in our metropolis. Every of the three buyer classes has a novel billing drawback centered across the water and sewer Service Availability Payment (SAF) paid by some metropolis residences, however not others in our group. The primary Class involved motels and motels. The second involved Salem housing models for low-income and handicapped members of the family. The third included giant complexes and trailer courts occupied by particular person households. If we take away the resort and motel amenities from the record, we can have roughly 332 household models provided with water utilizing solely 11 water meters. Which means the town collects (11 meters X $12.00 = $132.00 per thirty days). If every of those 332 household models had been particular person properties, they might every have a meter and the town would acquire (332 meters X $12.00 = $3,984.00 per thirty days). The distinction in collected income is substantial and, in my view, must be addressed if the town is to have truthful utility billing.
The primary class is a simple repair, achieved by making use of a SAF primarily based on meter measurement, as talked about in my first article. For instance, our metropolis might cost a SAF of $125.00/month for a 6-inch meter, $75.00 for a 4-inch meter, $50.00 for a 3-inch meter, $25.00 for a 2-inch meter, $17.00 for a 1-inch meter, and $6.00, our current charge for ⅝ & ¾-inch meters. Nonetheless, the motels and motels serviced by giant meters wouldn’t be modified a SAF. Cities round us have been utilizing this methodology of billing for years and we have to be a part of them! I consider that is truthful for a number of causes which I’ll clarify. The folks utilizing motels and motels usually are not Salem residents, they’re guests with brief stays. As friends in our metropolis, they might spend cash at plenty of our shops, eating places, and gasoline stations. We must always do every part attainable to encourage the homeowners of those amenities to create a customer return coverage, not burden them with a room SAF.
The opposite two classes contain people and households dwelling in Salem. The 11 meters servicing these 332 models are presently not paying the SAF. These amenities nonetheless must pay the massive meter charges talked about above, however the people occupying these models additionally should be concerned in supporting the bills of the water and sewer departments. If these models had been handled as particular person properties they might generate $3,984.00 per thirty days. ($6.00 for water and $6.00 for sewer per thirty days) An quantity that our current householders are required to pay. True, there aren’t any meters at these models, however the SAF the two,700 householders should pay is just not being utilized to the above-mentioned models. But the bills the water and sewer departments incur every year, apply to all Salem customers, together with these 332 models. Most of the residents in these models, which I’ve talked with, really feel that in addition they have a duty to assist our utility departments. How can we apply a good charge since there aren’t any meters supplying water to every of those models? I want to counsel a Water/Sewer Person Payment (WSUF) charge hooked up to the electrical meter since all of those models have their very own electrical meter. This charge will go to the water and sewer departments, not the electrical division. When this WSUF is hooked up to the electrical meter it’ll solely be utilized to the occupied models, which can range from month to month. The WSUF shall be lower than our SAF since every unit doesn’t have a water meter, however will replicate all the opposite bills related to working these departments.
Let me current some arguments supporting this WSUF. What for those who lived in a trailer courtroom or condominium advanced having 40 models fed by one water meter? As an example you’re a single conservative particular person however lots of your neighbors have youngsters, perhaps many youngsters, and likewise, different neighbors which haven’t any regard regarding their consumption of water. Your landlord will get his/her water and sewer invoice, sees the water consumption, plus different month-to-month bills, and calculates every unit’s month-to-month hire. This hire doesn’t replicate every unit’s consumption or the town’s value to provide water and sewer companies to those models. Among the renters, unknowingly, are paying for a part of their neighbor’s utilization. This doesn’t appear truthful, however they haven’t any argument as a result of they haven’t any particular person water meters! This can be the reasoning behind our metropolis’s authentic ordinance talked about in my first article, which states that there should be one water meter for every consumer. How would possibly the WSUF keep away from this indifference to water utilization? Will, if every unit resident is paying this charge, the ability proprietor and all householders would possibly see a lower within the water and sewer quantity fee charge as a result of metropolis’s elevated income.
For instance, as an example this charge is $6.00 per thirty days for these 332 models. That’s (332 X $6.00 = $1,992.00/month; $3.00 for every water and sewer) or $23,904.00/yr. Perhaps this can be utilized to decrease the water fee charge somewhat for everybody, together with the ability homeowners. Extra importantly, the price of working these departments is now shared by all residents utilizing our water, not simply these householders and renters having water meters!
Readers could produce other considerations and must voice them earlier than the committee makes its remaining choice.