To the editor:
This letter is for the citizens of Richmond, Utah. I was made aware of a public hearing that the City Council is holding on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m. The public hearing is to discuss raising the sewer rate by $20 to $25 per month.
Apparently, when this sewer project started the city planned all along there would be three increases to the sewer rate. They only implemented two of the three rate increases. They kept pushing off the third increase for future generations. Because of the city’s failure to act seven years ago they apparently have put the city in a position where they must raise the rate.
The rate increases in Richmond take effect July 1 and go for 12 months. Currently the base rate is $53 month and is due to increase automatically on July 1, 2021, by $1 to $54, a month. Since the city budget takes effect on July 1, the City Council needs to have an approved budget in place by July 1, 2021.
During the April Richmond City Council meeting the council was given five scenarios to raise the needed funds. Scenario 1, is to raise the monthly sewer rate by $1, as planned, which will take place on July 1, 2021. Scenarios 2-4, deal with increasing the sewer rate by an additional $20 a month. Scenario 5, increases the sewer rate by $25. Scenarios 2-5 do not include the $1 increase each that takes effect each year.
So, from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, we have been paying the base rate $53 per month or $636 annually. If they increase rate the by $20 per month, which will be added to the new base rate of $54 per month to $74 we will be paying $888 annually. If they increase the rate by $25 per month, which will be added to the new base rate of $54 per month to $79 we will be paying $948 annually.
From what I have read, it appears that the city does not quite get their fiscal responsibility, which is to put into reserve, dollars, that can be used for needed repairs of a facility that is aging. This is evident by the city’s own admission that they should have done this seven years ago.
My hope is that each of us can make it on Tuesday, Jan.15, at 6:30 p.m. and let the city council know of our frustration that this increase of our sewer rate is unacceptable and let them know that a lack of planning on their part does not constitute an emergency on our part.
Ronald B. Natali