Citizens pay for treatment plant

I couldn’t help but chuckle while reading the Arlington sewer treatment plant story in Saturday’s Herald (“Upgraded wastewater treatment plant makes the Stilly sweet“).

City public works director James Kelly is so proud of the new plant that he’s willing to drink the water to prove it? “If you can get over the gag factor, it’s perfectly safe,” Kelly said. Oh, brother. But, here’s the corker, in my opinion.

Concerning funding for the project, a spokesperson for the engineering firm that designed the treatment plant stated, “This advanced technology is not cheap and they (the city of Arlington) found a way to get it done.”

Yep, the city sure did find a way; all you have to do is look at a monthly water/sewer utility bill. The first substantial jump in water and sewer rates I found occurred in January 1996. The U.S. inflation rate between January 1996 and January 2011 has been approximately 43 percent.

However, since that time, the minimum monthly city water rate has risen from $5.70 to the current $32.15, an increase of 564 percent. The minimum monthly city sewer rate has risen from $12.30 to the current $62.80, an increase of 510 percent. In addition, sewer rates are scheduled to rise by another 17 percent by January 2013. This rate information was all taken from official city documents.

So, that’s how the city is “gettin’ ‘er done.”

Alan Young

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