CITY OF YELM WATER CUSTOMERS SHOULD ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR WATER BILL INSERT.
City of Yelm August Water Customer Bill insert
ALL THREE ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THE INSERT ARE ALL FILLED WITH INNUENDOS, MISCONCEPTIONS & OUTRIGHT LIES – THE CITY’S OWN WATER SYSTEM PLAN REVEALS THESE DECEPTIVE ANSWERS!
IF THE PUBLIC WERE ALLOWED A TOWN HALL MEETING AND PRESENTED WITH THE FACTS, WOULD THEY ACCEPT THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CITY’S WATER SYSTEM PLAN?
OF COURSE NOT!
Lets examine each question/answer in the City of Yelms Water Bill Insert to their customers, of which I am one, owning a home in Yelm.
QUESTION/ANSWER # 2 ON THE INSERT:
2. Am I paying for my service and providing for new developments, too?
Answer: “No, new connection fees are paid for by developers. Yelm’s population is growing and we are obligated to provide service to existing customers and prepare and provide for customers that are new to the area as mandated by the State of Washington.”
Let’s again get guidance and direction from the City’s Draft Water System Plan from where I quote:
220.127.116.11 System Development Charges
“In the absence of an SDC, growth-related capital costs would be borne in large part by existing customers. In addition, the net investment in the utility already collected from existing customers, through rates, charges, and/or assessments, would be diluted by the addition of new customers, effectively subsidizing new customers with prior customers payments. To establish equity, an SDC should recover a proportionate share of the existing and future infrastructure costs from a new customer. From a financial perspective, a new customer should become financially equivalent to an existing customer by paying the SDC.
18.104.22.168 Local Facilities Charges
While an SDC is the manner in which new customers pay their share of general facilities costs, local facilities
funding is used to pay the costs of local facilities that connect each property to the systems infrastructure.”
As quoted yesterday,
Chapter 9 Financial Plan
“In addition, the net investment in the utility already collected from existing customers, through rates, charges, and/or assessments, would be diluted by the addition of new customers, effectively subsidizing new customers with prior customers payments. To establish equity, an SDC should recover a proportionate share of the existing and future infrastructure costs from a new customer. From a financial perspective, a new customer should become financially equivalent to an existing customer by paying the SDC.”
The cash funding is broken down between 15 percent SDC [system development charge] revenue, 16 percent rate funded system reinvestment, and 7 percent from the capital fund balance. It is assumed that revenue bonds will cover the remaining 62 percent of capital costs.
So, an SDC is only covering 15% of the required financing!
Further stated in the Plan,
“Projects identified as part of Mitigation Plan, including potentially monitoring, purchase of water rights in the Deschutes River basin, and habitat restoration.
There is money in the Plan budgeted for $100,000 for each 8 years for “Mitigation Projects”.”
What is the purpose of property owners paying almost a million dollars over 8 years for a mitigation project?
Answer: the purpose of a mitigation project is to find water in support of Multi-Planned Communities [MPCs]. Period!
Shouldn’t the developers should pay for MPC costs up-front and the city’s costs be separate?
The purpose of the water mitigation plan is to get water rights and the city has previously stated that it needs more water rights in-part to support the 5,000-home Thurston Highlands development, as reported last week in The Olympian.
However, with Yelm’s Draft Water System Plan, the developers are not paying one cent for that – the city will pay that through rate increases to their customers. So, the City of Yelm property owner is being hood-winked to support water for MPC’s to the tune of $11.4 million, and this amount is almost all exclusively for SW Annex structure.
The City’s Draft Water System Plan states all is without an MPC [Master Planned Community] for 6-years.
However, when the MPC gets connected:
A. $11.4 million in 6 years will be financed by existing city rate payers says
City of Yelm Water System
6-Year Capital lmprovement Plan (without MPCs)
most all of it to build a new water system in the south west area
Why do that if not for the MPC proposed property out there?
CLICK HERE FOR THE TABLE OF EXPENSES, then scroll to Table 8.8
B. Will developers to pay for this according to the city bill insert?
No! The city’s Draft Water System Plan says existing rate payers will finance MPCs.
– to repeat, why are we putting in a whole new water system out where the MPC is going?
– When there isn’t supposed to be an MPC for 6 years.
– Shouldn’t the developer pay for this?
– The developers are gone and left in their wake alot of debt to the city!
Then, this answer in the water bill insert is also misleading:
“Yelm’s population is growing and we are obligated to provide service to existing customers and prepare and provide for customers that are new to the area as mandated by the State of Washington.”
A Thurston County Superior Court has already ruled Yelm must prove it has water PRIOR TO plat approval.
Therefore, Yelm can only prepare and provide for customers that are new to the area as mandated by the State of Washington if they prove they have sufficient water rights PRIOR to plat approval.
The City has appealed this ruling; a decision should be forthcoming this Fall.
Now, you tell me if the city’s bill insert answer to question # 2 is honest:
“Am I paying for my service and providing service to new developments too?”
THIS IS NOT DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND!
For the city to tell rate payers they are NOT funding for development is very devious & false when their Draft Water System Plan clearly says otherwise!