Archive for Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Letter: Water rate increase too big

February 1, 2012

To the editor:

Suburban Water sent notice of another huge increase and an upcoming Kansas Corporation Commission hearing so that the public will have some opportunity to provide minimal input on the issue. This comes as no surprise. Suburban attempted to get an under-the-table increase disguised as a water cost passed through last year. That increase, without public hearings nor the full ratemaking process, was rejected by the KCC.

Now, they have filed for what they allege is a 28 percent increase. It is not. For those who just use the minimum 1,000 gallons, its rate goes from $20 to $30.33 per month, which is nearly a 52 percent increase. This fact is hidden by its sly use of a footnote.

The company also is trying to get the ability to increase rates at any time with the water-cost pass-through previously rejected. One can check the BPU document “Combined Rate Application Manual” on page 34 and see that Suburban is paying $1.53 per 100 cubic feet or $2.045 per 1,000 gallons for which it is asking for the ability to charge us $9.33. This is a 456 percent markup. Is there another business on Earth that gets away with this?

Every Suburban customer should come to the hearing on Feb. 21 and there be no official approval of this further legal burglary of Suburban customers. We should also demand that the KCC conduct a forensic audit of this utility to include all the family companies with which they do no bid business.

James P. Washington

Basehor

Comments

Waterlogged 2 years, 7 months ago

Last time I checked Wal-Mart had water on sale for $1.22 a gallon. According to my bill I only used 8,000 gallons for the month. If you want to start hauling it you need to bring a semi-truck and trailer and around $10,000 dollars plus tax to make through the month. "STOCK UP"

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johninbasehor 2 years, 7 months ago

Politicians in Topeka are proposing passage of a bill in the state house that would grant utility rate increases immediately without approval of the Kansas Corporation Commission. Big business and politicians in action together to screw the little guy.

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JimWashington 2 years, 7 months ago

jgreen1515 Can you give me a reference on this so we can mobilize to fight it. I went through all the bills filed in the 2012 session and didn't find anything relating to the KCC. Waterlogged. What in the heck are you talking about? If the state would let me I could drill a well for tons less than you're talking about and two bucks worth of electricity per month would provide more water than anyone could ever use. Had that at my last home- better water - never an outage.

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Waterlogged 2 years, 7 months ago

Jimmy if you don't like paying for the convience of having public water coming through your faucet, then buy a water tank and start hauling your own. By your own calculations that should only cost you about $3,000 per month depending on what type of truck you buy.

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dehydrated 2 years, 7 months ago

Waterlogged, the issue is not what water costs at Wal-Mart, but what the competition is charging for their water. Maybe you should look at what Basehor (Consolidated Water District #1) and Tonganoxie charges for the same BPU water?
Let compare what 8000 gal would cost with Consolidated Water District #1(Basehor) rates verses Suburban's Waters rates:

Consolidated cost would be = $56.61 Here is the math...first 1000gal @ $20 & 7000/1000gal @ $5.23 = $20+(7000/1000x5.23)

Water Rates per Consolidated's web site: http://crwd1.com/policies_and_forms/rate_fee_schedule%203.pdf 0 to 1,000 gallons usage $20.00 each additional 1,000 gallons usage $ 5.23

Suburban's cost would be = $95.64 Here is the math..$21 Customer Charge plus (8000/1000) or (21+(8 x 9.33))

Suburban's customers are paying almost 70% more then Consolidated Water District #1(Basehor)...and here's the "peanut"...Consolidated get its water from the same source...BPU

The question to ask is why does it cost Suburban so much more to operate its business verses Consolidated #1 ??? The KCC needs to look into how many business's of the Breuer's are the rate payers supporting?

More info can be found @ KCC's web site Docket 12-SUBW-359-RTS http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/portal/kcc/PSC/DocketDetails.aspx?DocketId=0ce67c43-1b5f-4374-8409-64d53ee83e92

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Waterlogged 2 years, 7 months ago

Obviously the real issue comes within your last paragraph. I personally am very grateful for local companies that have initiative, fortitude, and determination to invest their own time, energy, and money to provide a service to the rural residents of this community. If it wasn't for Suburban Water and other small family companies like them, I would not have been able to build my home here years ago. Isn't that the American Dream?

   And let me guess, you didn’t buy grocery at Basehor’s Wolf Creek grocery store either!
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JimWashington 2 years, 7 months ago

About Wolf Creek marketplace - taxpayers are stuck with a $1.5 million KDOT loan and no dedicated revenue stream to pay for it. McIntosh and company (supported by his attorney Shannon Marcano) gave the city a forecast of $19 million annual sales – and the Garcia crowd accepted that without question. Food Marketing Institute (University of Minnesota) data shows this to be more than three times what the store could have done for many, many years.
Something else you should know, this same Shannon Marcano was appointed Basehor City Attorney by Mayor Hill. Conflict of interest? By the way in November 2008, when Councilwoman Dysart and I tried to protect the taxpayers by requiring complete financial disclosure of all the companies and people involved in Wolf Creek Junction and Marketplace, we were outvoted. http://www.basehorinfo.com/news/2008/... Wolf Creek was a lovely store at a convenient location and we shopped with them right up to the end.

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dehydrated 2 years, 7 months ago

If you think they built that water district just to "service" the customers your crazy? Did they work with the school district when installing the water main down 158th street to the new Middle school ? Or did they make them pay dearly. Read the article...I'll let you be the judge

I would like to compare the operating cost at Suburban to Consolidated Water #1 who services more customer? I bet a few less relatives are on the books.

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Dennis Mertz 2 years, 7 months ago

I am thankful that I do not live South of Parallel.

This is what I received from Consolidated about their investments and rates;

Consolidated Water did raise our minimum rate in 2009. This is the rate that all customers pay regardless of the amount of water used. We have not increased the water rate itself since 2003. We are very proud of the fact that our rates have been very stable over the last 10+ years, even though we have seen significant increases in the rate we pay for water as well as materials, fuel etc…

Since 1998, Consolidated Water has made approximately $8,000,000 in improvements to our District. This does not account for improvements that were paid for by developers. All of these improvements directly benefit our customers. The Water District has managed these improvements in a very fiscally responsible manner. In February, Consolidated Water will retire a State Revolving Loan that began in 1998. This 20 year note will be paid off significantly early, saving our District over $650,000 and reducing our debt. Again, we are extremely proud of this achievement.

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kbrown 2 years, 7 months ago

This is not to be antagonistic by any means, rather it is an exploratory question thrown out to the entire community. If the residents south of Parallel pursue annexation to the City of Basehor, would they then become customers of Consolidated?

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JimWashington 2 years, 7 months ago

No, the water district/company territories have no relationship to city lines. One of my longer term goals that I talk up to various Leavenworth County and State elected officials every chance I get is formation of a Leavenworth County Water One/Sewer One. Numbers may not be exact here but there are one water company and 17 water districts in the county - plus probably as many sewer districts -- Briarwood is totally septic systems - but they have a sewer district. Such a super district could take advantage of the Kansas Statutes which make takeover of inefficient, poorly performing, or piratical private water utilities fairly easy.

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ProudOfOurCity 2 years, 7 months ago

ProudOfOurCity (anonymous) says… LTDC: Mr. Washington you are pathetic. Since you have no successes in your life and have never accomplished anything of importance, your only method to call attention to your narcissistic self is to tear down others. Nothing comes from you that has value. You constantly criticize, ridicule and more than anything else lie about every topic you address. You continue to try to influence citizens with your hateful comments. You must have no conscience because you have no problem trying to destroy people's lives with your lies who have not bowed down to you. If you are so miserable with Basehor please do us all a favor and move back to where you came from. Your new name should be DarkenEveryCornerWithHatred.

February 9, 2012 at 10:41 a.m. ( permalink | reply | suggest removal | ) .

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OldtimeBasehor 2 years, 7 months ago

Fellow citizens of Basehor, this is my first comment in the Basehor Sentinel. I have set back and read the articles and blogs until now. I am late in joining the story, but I hope I can shed some light on the recall processes going on in the city which are littering our streets with signs as well as damaging our reputation as a friendly city attractive to new residents and businesses.
I regularly attend council meetings where I had witnessed an event last spring that is the beginning of the fighting that has been going on in the city. Former City Administrator Mark Loughry changed IT companies for the City of Basehor. At the end of the city council meeting when the IT change was announced, Jim Washington approached Mark Loughry and said clearly that he was going to get even. A number of us present heard that threat. Incidentally, the Information Technology services that had been removed as a city vendor happens to be a company founded by Jim Washington and currently run by his family. The council meeting where “The Purple Guys” were removed as the Information Technology service, a number of people witnessed Washington approach Loughry, get in his face and threaten to get even after the meeting was adjourned. It looks like he made good on his word. Within a couple of months, Loughry was blindsided at a council meeting and removed from office by three friends of Mr. Washington. No reason was given at the time nor has there been a reason given to this day. As a result, Mertz and Dysart, were recalled based on a KOMA violation. There does not need to be proof that they met in a secret place and discussed the termination of Loughry. An outside party conducting individual conversations with 3 council members persuading them to take action is a KOMA violation. Their behavior at the council meeting was clear evidence they had discussed and were of like mind before the council meeting. County rules prevent recalling more than two council members at a time.
As a result of the recall of Mertz and Dysart, several more friends of Mr. Washington recalled Mayor Hill in what appears to be retaliation. Two of the four allegations against Mayor Hill were thrown out by the judge which casts a lot of suspicion on the other two. I received a letter with 10 thousand dollars of charges the mayor had made with a city charge card. I took it upon myself to check with the Basehor City Clerk and discovered that 90% of the charges listed were false. We had trusted Mayor Hill with our money and I was relieved to find out that he had not violated that trust. I am tired of this fight. I hold Jim Washington a.k.a. “Light the dark corners” responsible.

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onlythetruth 2 years, 7 months ago

The letter that the Recall committee against Mayor Hill mailed out to residents that alleged spending by Mayor Hill, provided false information over 90% of the alleged $10776 was determined to not to have been charged by Mayor Hill, though an open records request with the City of Basehor. To find the truth visit.

http://mayorhill.basehor-recall.com

The Best one of them all is that the recall committee alleged that Mayor Hill spent $3990 on Ingram’s Magazine. However, if we look at the 11/7/2011 visa statement you provide on the recall site for mayor hill we can see on page 6 that the City of Basehor's actual expense was $695 (not made by Mayor Hill). The remaining $3295 was paid for by Valley View Bank ($1000), USD #458($1245), Citizen’s Bank($250), Chamber of Commerce($500), and First State Bank ($300). The recall committee against Mayor Hill has provided proof on their own website that the information that they have mailed out to residents is false.

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ProudOfOurCity 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Washington: Why are you always so negative and hateful on each and every subject you are involved in? It seems that you derive joy from hurting others with your endless grandstanding. Please try to find another way to get attention or move to another city. People keep asking who is Washington and if he hates Basehor so badly why doesn't he leave?

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JimWashington 2 years, 6 months ago

Hey What's your comment have to do with water rate increases?

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JimWashington 2 years, 6 months ago

Update: The KCC held the public hearing at the Basehor Public Library on Tuesday the 21st of February. The folks who fought the last rate increase felt that the work we did in 2007 was futile, however, based on the tenor of the hearing, it appears that some of what we did was seed dropped on fertile ground.

The KCC counsel Judy Jenkins in her opening presentation came within a hair’s breadth of branding them a criminal enterprise, and Nikki Christopher, CURB counsel, was every bit as condemning in her opening statement.

It appears that the KCC has been on to them for some time building from our push in 07-08. Please look at the final ruling from the rate increase application that Suburban tried last year. Of particular interest is Section F, paragraph 53 and forward.

You can find the ruling at http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/portal/kcc/page/docket-docs/PSC/DocketDetails.aspx?DocketId=fbe9e143-6ef5-4b9a-978c-b140b5cabe22

Click on "Show all documents" and open the "Order on Application" dated June 3, 2011.

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ProudOfOurCity 2 years, 6 months ago

Follow The Yellow Brick Road To Nowhere Behind the curtain Jimmy the Wizard of Oz is pulling the levers and has sent Dorothy Dysart, Cowardly Lion Mertz, Scarecrow Moore and Tin Man Box out to get the broom of Elaine the Wicked Witch of the East after a house fell on her sister, Marilyn, the Wicked Witch of the West. Along the way they have created a $500,000 potential lawsuit for the Emerald City. Unfortunately in this story there are no ruby slippers. This little group, following Wizard Jimmy’s quest find themselves lost in the Dark Corners Forest with no Light. Hopefully, the recall election will send all of them home and Emerald City will return to the beautiful, peaceful place that it once was. Let us hope and pray that the balloon full of hot air lifts off soon taking Jimmy the Wizard back to wherever he came from, gone forever from Emerald City. The End

February 25, 2012 at 3:07 p.m. permalinkreplysuggest removal

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