Williamson Letter - 05/24/09

The suggested $17.56 per month/$114.14 per year Rockdale Water Resources rate hike is a jump from the monthly amount we have been paying. What I believe is coming next is the misuse of these additional funds as RWR begins to collect them. It was reported last year that they had to "dip" into the general fund to pay off debt, but that was reported to be $2.7 million short. Why then is RWR putting in a rate hike that will increase their revenue to almost $3.9 million annually?

On top of the new suggested hike was a comment by Garvin Haynes that redefined what the mission for RWR is (at least what he thinks it should be). He stated, "Economic development, property values, employment opportunities, general welfare and safety of our citizens .. Through responsible business practices." This flies in the face of RWR's mission statement: "Water Resources' mission is to provide affordable, customer-focused services in an environmentally-sound manner, providing potable water and treatment of wastewater that meets or exceeds the regulatory requirements."

Responsible business practices do not include creating new customer service manager, customer service workers, or other positions that are not necessary personnel. The idea is to become more fiscally sound by paying off our debt and reducing the 34 percent system losses, not to expand the system and the employees. If RWR remains focused on fixing our existing system, it reduces the operating costs all around, and becomes a more trouble-free system overall. Think about it: A more trouble-free system requires less to maintain, not more.

Garvin's statement came from the May 15th press release from Rockdale County. The actual mission statement can be viewed at: http://www.rockdalecounty.org/main.cfm?id=2365.

Don Williamson