Rate payers left to cover for city’s mistakes

The City of Alpena is trying to figure out how much to raise our water and sewer rates again. The city council hired an expensive consultant to tell them that. If the city had not spent $4.5 million (that’s about $950 for each meter) to replace all the water meters when just the bad one could have been replaced for less than $100 each, that money could have been used to replace pipes instead of going in the contractor’s pocket. The pipes are leaking and the water is wasting but we now have state of the art computerized meters to keep track of it all. I estimate that in the 25 plus years the city has used a contractor to manage the water and sewer department, there has been approximately $30 million in lost revenue because the contractor did not do their job. (According to their own numbers one-third of the water is being lost). Perhaps the city should be looking to the contractor for that money, not the rate payers. Once again the city has squandered our money on fluff and now wants to charge us more to provide the service that we have already paid for. The infrastructure (the pipes and such) should be paid from the city taxes we pay and your water and sewer bill should be for usage only, not infrastructure. The discussion should be, “where do we get money for fluff”? Not where do we get more money for required services.

Thomas VanDuinen