The Fiscal Court did not take a vote concerning the Regional Water Commission (RWC) Proposal at their meeting on March 15, 2005. It was deemed unnecessary because the City Water Commission voted to recommend that the city of Cadiz withdraw from the RWC. It was announced at the meeting that with the city pulling out of the regional commission, the commission is dissolved. However, the Cadiz City Council hasn’t voted on that recommendation yet. So I will address some recent developments concerning the issue.
On March 15, 2005, I talked with Ricky Oakley, the engineer who prepared the water rate charts for the RWC informational meeting. He agreed with me that under the RWC proposal, the $2.36/1000 gallons is ONLY the increased cost for water. The ACTUAL PROJECTED COST for the Barkley Lake Water (BLW) customer is $3.04/1000 gallons of water and that is the amount he used to prepare the rate charts. The $3.04 figure has never been publicized. And that cost is 4.7 times what the BLW customer currently pays (65 cents) for the production of 1000 gallons of water.
Furthermore, I was told the $12.8 million project cost is only for new construction. It doesn’t include the purchase price for the BLW plant. Or if the plant isn’t purchased, but just taken over by the RWC, it doesn’t include the cost of retiring the bond debt. That debt remains with the BLW customers. Nor does it include the cost of relocating the BLW distribution operation to another building and location. (Remember the RWC only wants the plant.) Neither has the cost for the South Road water project been included in the rate charts. Taking all of this into consideration, isn’t it quite obvious that the rate charts ARE NOT CORRECT AND DO NOT ACCURATELY PROJECT what the monthly bill will be for the BLW customer? The rates will surely be higher than projected.
Again, I see this issue as a problem to be solved—the inequitable RWC proposal. From experience I’ve learned that when there is a problem if you want a solution, you attack the problem, not people. I am still hopeful a more equitable solution will be found whereby the city and county will have their need for pure water met. Yet I also don’t want the cost to become so oppressive that the need for pure water is jeopardized for anyone.