One of the interesting elements of the latest discussion concerning increasing the rates for water, sewer and storm water has been largely unreported. The “how did the fund go from having more than ample money to being only several million in each account” discussion has centered on the number of necessary repairs and equipment needed by the Department of Public Utilities.
Yet for years, salaries of city employees have been funded from the Department of Public Utilities. Including Mayoral staff. This continues today where a portion of the salaries are taken from DPU accounts instead strictly from the general fund.
Few on council seem to be in opposition to the increased rates, which means despite the public meeting that is to be scheduled for the public to comment, as it stands right now the decision appears to be made. However, if there is no change in the system as far as how money is allocated from DPU, not all of the money being stated is needed for repairs or new equipment is going to go to repairs or new equipment.
It was disappointing last week when Council failed to ask questions concerning one rather expensive piece of equipment that DPU wants to purchase, that in years past leased when needed. There are a number of vehicles that are in desperate need of replacement, but the question of is now the time to buy a specialized piece of digging equipment that can not even be purchased through the regular channels through the State of Ohio appears to be one that is not going to be asked or answered.
The City has done a great job in selling the proposed water rates to most of our local media, who for the most part, like a majority of Council appear to only be looking at the water surface rather than beneath it.
That’s my two cents …