Fuzzy math and water (April 26, 2017)

The Liberty Utilities pep squad would have us yokels believe that the water rates we pay in Apple Valley are comparable to those in the surrounding communities in the High Desert. This doesn’t quite square with all the yards in my neighborhood with dead grass, and dying shrubs and trees which is not seen in Hesperia and Victorville.

Their fuzzy math says that because of connection fees and property tax tacked on to the connection fee they are paying the same. The connection fee amounts to about $30 per month over 30 years, but when you consider a house lives 60 plus years, the monthly amount is far less. You can bet, if we continue down the same path, we will suffer double digit rate increase every year.

What the cheerleaders don’t want you to know is that homes in Apple Valley are selling for about $20,000 less than our neighbors in Victorville and Hesperia. It seems the market has priced in a $1,000 yearly discount for the next 20 years to account for our outrageous water rates! We have lived in the same home for the past 30 years and every water rate increase comes with the excuse that our water company needs to upgrade the system and pipes, yet the majority of the pipes in the ground are over 60 years old.

What I see are well compensated employees and shareholders, new trucks and leaky pipes! And don’t forget, before Apple Valley Ranchos’ name change to Liberty Utilities (my understanding is that it was not for sale) we were treated to a $2.2 million dog and pony show on Apple Valley Road. You know, the water well that was dug and then capped off after they booked the expense and got their rate increase from the California Public Utilities Commission.

If you are tired of being abused by the California PUC and Liberty Utilities, yearly double digit rate increases, abusive tier pricing and service charges that are greater than your water bill, than join me in supporting the Town of Apple Valley and vote yes on Measure F!

Tony Tyler, Apple Valley

Source: Daily Press