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Utility ratepayers just cash cows

April 28, 2012
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

The Utility/Facility Expansion Program since its origin has been marked by faulty conception, inept execution, mismanagement and gross overpricing.

Who doesn't remember the hooking up of recycled (potty water) to resident drinking water lines, the $14.5 million dollar settlement the City paid to settle a claim of faulty specifications, the approximately $300 million for the unneeded North RO (Kismet) Plant complex, the suspicious audits that were never completed, the DEP reducing our water treatment capacity due to the City Staff's own faulty design causing premature failure of pumps and other equipment resulting in thousands of dollars in increased maintenance costs, the confiscatory assessments (some as high as $200,000) in SW 4 and the favored treatment given some parcels? Remember the low pressure and snails in your sprinklers? Remember the 1,100 as yet unexplained "change orders"? Most recently the City has now found $6 million in ratepayer money to engage in land speculation.

Remember when the recycled irrigation water program was marketed? The City told everyone that for $5 a month you could water as much as you wanted and the price would never go up. Now we are watering two days a week and paying almost twice the promised amount. Yet, still that is not enough. Ratepayers are paying inflated water/sewer rates (all ratepayers even those not using irrigation water) because the insufficient current irrigation charge is being subsidized by increased water and sewer rates. These promises were made in spite of the fact that the Water Independence for Cape Coral study predicted we would never be able to produce enough irrigation water to satisfy the demand, and now what does Council wish to do but add more users on the system by extending irrigation water to SW 6/7!

On May 7th Council is set to tell ALL residents, those on the irrigation system and those on well water (that includes residents north of Pine Island Road), that we can now only water once a week due to the inadequacies of the system. That's right. Because the irrigation system can't meet the demand, EVERYONE must cut back on watering even if you use no irrigation water.

It seems as if we are always paying for a Cadillac while the City consistently delivers a Yugo. I don't know about you, but I am tired of being treated as a cash cow. I urge everyone to attend the May 7th meeting and express your discontent with this program and the latest proposal.

Bill Deile

Cape Coral



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