Adelanto water rates (September 20, 2016)

I hope everyone read your recent front-page article on water rates in Adelanto (Adelanto council rejects water rate increases, Daily Press, September 19, 2016). There are some key points that must not be overlooked.

The Adelanto city council voted against raising water rates even though doing so would allow them to obtain bonding at more advantageous rates, saving ratepayers money in the long run. Because Adelanto is not charging enough to provide water and have money left over for capital improvements, it has a lower credit rating, so bonds are more expensive.

Worse, those capital improvements are needed, not only because water systems need constant attention, but also because Adelanto has problems with dirty water (including arsenic, which is not specified in the article).

As if that’s not bad enough, the monies from the last rate hikes are long gone, so capital improvements seem to be out of the question.

The icing on the cake is that without a rate increase now, there can be no substantive investment, meaning there will be more significant rate increases in the long term. And, because the Adelanto water system is municipally owned, its current tiered rate structure is illegal, so it’s got to go, too.

I’m not pointing out these issues to attack Adelanto or those in charge, but rather to emphasize that these are just some of the reasons why thoughtful persons oppose municipal ownership of water systems. And this has nothing to do with the size of Adelanto, as the DWP in Los Angeles is looking at a billion dollars in needed capital improvements, and everyone is wondering where all that money is going to come from.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.