Filling in the facts (April 3, 2017)
Thanks to John Pedigo for verifying my claim that Hesperia charges for the installation of water service (“Missing information,” Daily Press, April 3, 2017).
But that was only one of the points I was trying to make. When you are charged thousands for a water connection, that becomes a hidden cost of water delivery. If a residential hookup is “only” $6,700 in Hesperia as this writer claimed, that is still 89 times more than the refundable deposit Liberty Utility gets, and 42% more than the total of what my wife and I have paid for water here in Apple Valley over the last eleven years. And that $6,700 is for just the hook-up, not for any water usage, bi-monthly service fees, or system maintenance and upgrades: Those are extra.
Adding that amount to the cost of the house increases your mortgage and the interest you pay. It also increases the assessed value, so your property taxes are higher. All of these go into the hidden costs of water in a municipal water system.
Buying a used home or renting doesn’t insulate you from these hidden costs because somehow, somewhere, someone has to pay them. They might be part of the selling price of the home; they pay be part of the rent. Regardless of the form, they must be paid, because although they are hidden they are still due and payable.
In Apple Valley, when you get a water bill from Liberty Utilities, what you see is what you get. The total price is right there on your bill in black and white. You will never see that transparency from a municipally-run utility, especially not the one Town Hall proposes for us in Apple Valley.
— Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.
Published: Daily Press, April 10, 2017
Files related to water rates
- 2010 Water rate comparison table
- 20110629 Final Report: County of San Bernardino Grand Jury
- 2014 Estimated total monthly water cost
- 20140814 State auditor to survey water prices in the area
- 20140814 State Auditor to audit water rates in Apple Valley and surrounding areas
- 20140815 AVRWC to participate in state audit of regional cost of water service
- 20150428 TOAV Town Hall presentation (for May 2014)
- 20150430 California State Auditor’s Report: Apple Valley area water rates
- 20150727 State Audit Confirms Reasonableness of Apple Valley Area Water Utilities’ Costs and Rates
- 20150430 Audit questions millions spent by Victorville’s water district
- 20150430 Audit: Private water more costly
- 20150430 AVRWC: State Audit Affirms Distinctions and Differences of Government-Owned and Private, Regulated Water Utilities
- Comparative water use (video)
- 20160913 Eric Larsen (Liberty Utilities) corrects the Town Council and staff (video)
- 20160926 Understanding your water bill
- Indirect comparisons are flawed
- 20170312 Editor’s Notebook: The water world we live in
- Missing water bill information
- Filling in the facts
- Apples and oranges
- Hidden costs, revisited
- 20181221 Hesperia reinstates water connection fee for future homes