Letter — Dagsboro resident decries water rate increase


Editor:

The recent change in [Dagsboro] water rates was presented as a $5 decrease in the flat rate from $40 per month to $35 per month (down 12.5 percent {with a very minimal increase in the usage rate of $0.15 per 1,000 gallons from $4 to $4.15 (up a very modest 3.75 percent)}). It sure sounds pretty good, right?

Wrong! Lost in the discussion at the meeting and in the Coastal Point article was the effect of eliminating the 3,000-gallon monthly allowance. Everyone will now have to pay $12.45 per month more (that’s $4.15 per 1,000 gallons, times 3) that used to be included in the $40 monthly flat rate. Even after allowing for the $5 per month reduction, that’s a minimum $7.45 increase every month for anyone who uses 3,000 gallons per month or more.

The only ones who see any reduction in their monthly bill are those who use a mere 1,000 gallons/month — they save a whopping 85 cents per month — and the very high-end user consuming 30,000 gallons per month (they actually save 95 cents per month).

Everyone else in between pays more — some pay a lot more. The 2,000-gallon-per-month user pays $3.30 per month more (+8 percent), the 3,000-gallon-per-month user pays $7.45 per month more (+19 percent), the 4,000-gallon-month user +$7.60 per month (+17 percent), the 5,000-gallon user +$7.75 per month (+16 percent), the 10,000-gallon user +$8.50/month (+13 percent).

It is my opinion, these new rates were not well thought-out by the council and very poorly presented at the public hearing. Unbelievably, the hardest hit are those using between 3,000 and 6,000 gallons/month (which is probably most of us) with increases ranging from 15 percent to 19 percent. Not exactly the “decrease” or even “modest increase” it was sold as. That’s just wrong.

At the public hearing, I objected to dropping the 3,000 gallons-per-month allowance included in the flat rate, but to no avail (nor was it mentioned in the front-page Coastal Point article).

I have been mulling over the idea of running for the Dagsboro Town Council for some time now — this, cinches it for me. I have submitted my candidate filing form and hope all voters will view my candidacy favorably.

 

James M. Thompson

Former Planning & Zoning 

Commission member

Dagsboro