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Water customers are overcharged

August 26, 2012
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

In my most recent letter to the editor, I mentioned the $3.5 million surplus in the Jefferson County Water Department accounts. The reason for that surplus is that the water customers are being overcharged. The county used an obsolete rate system.

The rate system went into effect more than 40 years ago. This is when the 3,000-gallon minimum came into being. This was to create enough revenue to pay for the purchase of water and cover operating expenses and bond payments for the construction costs. Those 3,000 gallons are the most expensive water in the United States.

That 3,000 gallons gets to be even more expensive when the customer doesn't use that much. The following is an example: Take most of the residential customers 40 years after this rate system went into effect. When it started, the household had a father, a mother and two or three children. They easily exceeded the minimum. Now, 40 years later: The children have grown up and moved out, and the father or mother has died. Now we have a single-person household. That person uses about 1,000 gallons a month. The water bill is still for that more expensive 3,000 gallons. The only thing that got lower was the household income. By the way, that 3,000-gallon minimum effects the sewer bill as well.

I'll tell the readers more, closer to Election Day, and who the county county commissioner is who caused the outrageous sewer rate increase. He's running for re-election.

In closing, I think it's the responsibility of the county commissioners to not create hardships for the senior citizens who paid to build the system in the first place.

William R. Kopras

Cross Creek Township

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