Subsidized water rates (September 24, 2017)
Usually, when I point out that municipalities have hidden costs and fees associated with their water rates, I’m told I am wrong, and that even if this is the case it doesn’t matter. Your article lays bare some of the hidden costs with Hesperia’s water rates and provides evidence that these hidden costs do in fact matter (“Hesperia Council votes to raise water rates by 9 percent,” Daily Press, September 24, 2017).
To keep rates artificially low, Hesperia has subsidized water delivery to the tune of $10 million. This is money that should have gone to infrastructure, police, and other services. As far back as six years ago, Hesperia knew this was a problem, but for political (not business) reasons decided to keep deceiving residents about the true costs of their water service. It is anybody’s guess what they were thinking for the first 14 years of this subsidy.
That kind of monkey business doesn’t happen with Liberty Utilities in Apple Valley. Liberty’s bills for water services show exactly what you are paying for your water. This is what is known as total transparency.
Now if people would pay attention to the other hidden costs and fees associated with municipal water delivery, maybe we could finally put to rest the false narrative that local municipal water rates are substantially lower than are those 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
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