Many thanks to publisher Nick Barbaro [“Page Three
,” Aug. 27] and reporter Nora Ankrum [“No Surprises in City's Answer to WTP4 Suit
,” News, Aug. 27] for covering the “billion dollar mistake on the lake,” aka Water Treatment Plant No. 4, and citizen efforts to stop this financial and environmental nightmare while we still can. Readers and ratepayers have until the Sept. 13 City Council vote on the city budget to tell the “WTP Four” – Lee Leffingwell, Mike Martinez, Randi Shade, and Sheryl Cole – to say “no” to the water rate hikes and the hundreds of millions of debt financing the plant requires. SaveWaterSaveMoney.org
has a handy petition to oppose the water rate hikes.
The water utility has raised rates every year since 2004 and now plans rate hikes every year through 2015. The cumulative residential rate increase will be more than 130%. A big chunk of this is to pay for the plant we don’t need. As Barbaro notes, citizens and businesses are saving money by saving water, keeping our water use flat even as population grows. The same thing is happening in other western cities. It will continue to happen here. The only point in building the plant now is to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars from residential and commercial ratepayers into the hands of a few, mostly out-of-state engineering firms. Imagine keeping half of that money in ratepayers' pockets and investing the other half in the sustainable "green jobs" that our elected officials talk about. Just say “no” to the water plant to nowhere.