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Why not try an incentive?

In response to Mayor Dan Keller, Preston, Idaho

The Citizen reported that:

Preston City scheduled a public hearing for June 28 to discuss water cuts, as 2021 is shaping up to be the driest year since 1977 in the city, said Mayor Dan Keller.

The public hearing will be held at the Preston City Offices and begin at 5 p.m.

“We are walking a balancing act. Everyone knows we are experiencing an extremely dry year. Runnoff is down, but adequate. However, we are also experiencing an extremely dry summer. It is just prudent to start early to conserve water. As good as our water supply is, nothing is insatiable, nothing goes on forever. This action we are proposing to take is to be proactive, to reduce water consumption on an equitable but voluntary basis.

It is proposed that fees will be raised, and maximum consumption will be decreased from 50,000 gallons per month to 40,000 gallons. Water fees will go up about 50 percent for any amount of water used over 40,000.

What kind of a “chicken little” approach is this? Everyone knows its been dry over the past few years, everyone knows the snow has been short of late. Everyone knows we have also had several years prior when excess run off and constant sump running as the norm. What are the actual facts of city water?

Are the tanks not refilling from the spring? Since we apparently have historical data from 1977 on drought we must also have data on the production of the spring, tank recovery, as well as the aquifer that provides the water for the spring. Proactive and preventative means that the data has been collected, analyzed, and then presented in a professional manner, not let’s have a meeting with pretension of a discussion for a decision that has already been made.

How is it possible to say “an equitable but voluntary basis” when the proposal is autocratic and mandated?

So what is the current consumption by house hold? The last Mayor indicated that the average usage was 25,000 gallons per month, has this average gone crazy this year? Or are we just try to fulfill the prior administration’s policy but politics got in the way? If in fact this idea results in saving 10,000 gallons every month per house where will that extra spring water be banked for future usage?

And now the all-important question? What are the additional funds that the city is proposing for collection to be used for? I hope it’s not to hire a “RAINMAN.”

Why not try an incentive approach instead of a penalty approach? Why not give a $5 dollar rebate to any house hold that uses 35,000 or less gallons a month for the metered months?

Robert Kooren


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