Maybe if a REALLY BIG water utility customer paid their fair share...
Well, sort of. It's not really news to learn that the City of Port Angeles is, once again, considering utility rate increases. Water is wet, the sun rises in the East, and Port Angeles raises its utility rates. Some things in life are just dependable that way.
The City Council still lets themselves be distracted and confused by the argument between "raising rates" and "delaying infrastructure improvements." As if it were an immutable law of nature (like those listed above) that if one doesn't raise utility rates, then infrastructure issues necessarily have to be put off.
Here's an idea, and I'll even use a phrase the Council itself bandied about for a bit: Budgeting for priorities. In other words, Council members, take an active role in shaping the City budget. Get involved. Get creative.
Maybe you could find some money for infrastructure if you said no more money for the ridiculous CSO Turd Tank, and instead pursued a less-costly/more effective approach. Maybe you could find some more money if you halted your spendthrift plans to gussy up the waterfront since it's, you know, a time of tight budgets and failing infrastructure. How about if Nippon paid a fair market share for the water you supply? That would raise a HUGE amount of money. And speaking of huge amounts of money...Maybe, just maybe, some of your utility departments, rather than raising rates so regularly, could eat into their millions upon millions of dollars in reserves. Ya think?
Hey, here's another idea, one you don't even have to pay an out of area consultant to give you. It's shockingly simple, and incredibly basic, but you've never really considered it. If you realize that the City's infrastructure needs maintenance, you could, you know, build funds for that into the City budget. Not just for one project, not just for one year. But, you know, as an ongoing, regular thing that needs to be done. That way you won't find yourself at these manufactured "crisis" points nearly so often.
But you'll have to raise them high to drown out the wailing
of the City Council.
Stop wringing your hands and moaning, Council. Get your hands dirty in the budgeting process and solve some problems rather than perpetuating them. You're supposed to be the adults in the room - act like it.