The Great Water Unrest of 2013 continues in Van Alstyne with a petition urging the repeal of the recently approved water rates.
This petition, created by resident Adam Wise with the assistance of Van Alstyne City Council member Kaaren Teuber, has been making the round through the city with a few local businesses keeping it out for public signing. The petition (you can read the actual wording below) calls for the repeal of Van Alstyne City Ordinance No. 699. This ordinance was passed on Sept. 23 after multiple workshop sessions and sets the new water rates.
To recap, there was a 7 percent increase for the new 2013-14 fiscal year. This affects every user no matter the amount they use per month. For users who use 5,000 gallons or more per month an additional 8 percent is added bringing the total to 15 percent per month for the average user (widely considered to be 7,000 gallons per month); at the 10,000 gallon per month mark the rate increases to 19 percent on top of the base rate (26 percent total); at the 20,000 mark it rises to 35 percent plus the base rate (42 percent total); at 30,000 gallons per month there is a sizeable jump to 47 percent above the base rate (54 percent total); at 40,000 the number jumps to 61 percent (67 percent total); at 50,000 it rises to 75 percent (82 percent total) and at 60,000 and above the rate jumps to 89 percent (96 percent total.)
Further, the petition demands that the money collected from these increased rates as of the city’s Oct. 1 billing be refunded. The petition states that the new water rates “will drive businesses out of town, they will decrease property values and they will result in lost jobs.”
The petition can be read in full below:
PETITION URGENTLY REQUESTING THE REPEAL OF THE INCREASED WATER RATES
TO: City of Van Alstyne City Manager, Mayor, and City Council
WE, the undersigned citizens of the City of Van Alstyne, demand the repeal of City of Van Alstyne Ordinance No. 699 which was passed on the 23rd day of September 2013 by the City Council.
WE demand that the new water rate increases, approved and adopted by the City Council on the 23rd day of September 2013, be repealed.
AND WE further demand that the money collected from these increased water rates effective with the 1 October 2013 billing, as well as any future bills, be refunded to we the citizens.
WE, the undersigned citizens of Van Alstyne, find these rate increases unfair. They will drive businesses out of town, they will decrease property values, and they will result in lost jobs. They are unaffordable for the many wage earners, business owners, the unemployed, and those on fixed incomes.
THEREFORE, a repeal of the ordinance and a return to the water rates approved in the 2012-2013 City of Van Alstyne budget is demanded.