To the Editor:
In Mayor (Gary) Graham’s weekly columns he routinely shares with us the fact that there is “a great deal of misinformation shared” regarding the topic of leasing our water and wastewater systems.
I would add that there is probably a great deal of information that his office is not sharing or is potentially misleading.
Consider the following before casting your vote on election day:
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Last week we saw in the paper and stated by the Mayor that our water rates had gone up over the last 4 years by an average of 5.21 percent and Belleville’s rate under a private company had gone up only 3.68 percent.
Why didn’t they tell you that Belleville’s rate is over 60 percent higher than O’Fallon’s rate?
You see Belleville’s rate for 6,000 gallons per month is $63.84, while O’Fallon’s rate is only $39.16 per month for the same usage (*).
With the above rates a 3.68 percent increase costs the citizens of Belleville an additional $2.35 monthly.
The 5.21 percent increase with the O’Fallon lower rates costs the Citizens of O’Fallon only an additional $2.04 monthly. This amounts to an additional savings for O’Fallon citizens of another 31 cents per month, not an increase.
Do you want water that comes from the same source for Bellville and their private company for their rates or for O’Fallon’s rates and city operated? YOU CAN MAKE THE CHOICE!
Did they also tell you that Belleville will increase its sewer rates by 8 percent per year over each of the next 13 years? (**)
Did anyone tell you that the City of Fairview Heights has passed an objection to the lease to protect their citizens? They stated that “they believe that their residents are best served by an Open, Publicly Accountable Water System.” (***)
Maybe they didn’t want you to know the TRUE facts.
*The above mentioned numbers on the water rates can be found in the proposal that was submitted by the city of O’Fallon to the companies that would be interested in leasing our water and/or sewer departments. It showed the companies how much room that they had to increase rates.
**The above numbers on Belleville’s Sewer increases are from the Belleville city Minutes in 2013 and reported in the Belleville News-Democrat and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
*** February 2015 letter to the Mayor and city council of O’Fallon and FH city minutes.
I personally like paying $24 LESS per month or $288 LESS per year by living in O’Fallon and having a community run water system.
AND I WILL VOTE NO.