The rest of the story...
Here is The rest of the story… regarding various recent claims heard in the EID Board room, on EID’s website, in EID Press Releases, and in The Mountain Democrat. If you took this information at face value, you would have been heartened… but, in actuality, led astray... FAR astray!
In December 2010, EID announced a “flat” budget totaling $42.7 million had been passed for 2011 operations. Yet, 2010 actual spending was $39.1 million and included $0.4 million fewer credits. So the “flat” 2011 budget reported on EID’s website and in the Press was really a $4.1 million increased gross spending budget… a 10.6% “de facto” spending increase… hardly “flat”, and certainly “tone deaf” in the face of painful budget slashing by our County, State, and Federal governments.
So what was included in this 10.6% INCREASED BUDGET deemed “cut to the bone” by EID’s Board…and “essential to the quality and safety of our Water supply”? Well, try the following: increased travel, meetings, training, contract services, consultants… not to mention 175 vehicles for 115 field employees, $38,800 per employee benefits (including $18,500 medical and $12,800 pension contributions), and $0.5 million increased Engineering expense, despite a 41% decrease in Capital Improvement Projects.
EID clearly continues to spend with their own comfort and job security in mind… NOT the financial best interests of EID ratepayers.
In April 2010, reacting to ratepayer angst over huge rate increases, EID announced that it had frozen wages for 2010-2011. The Press dutifully reported this “wage freeze” and an EID Board member unequivocally confirmed that wages were frozen. Yet, later it was uncovered that wages were not frozen until seven months later, in November 2010, after as much as $500,000 further 2010 wage increases had been granted.
Why can’t we accept EID pronouncements and Press Releases at face value? Why are we too often misled by EID “half-truths”?
EID claims their “sky-high” Sewer rates are due to tertiary treatment requirements. As too often is the case, EID again has told ratepayers only half the story…the half that fit their agenda and casts EID in an unduly favorable and misleading light.
It absolutely is true that tertiary treatment costs Sewer ratepayers an extra $200 annually vs. districts not subject to this higher Wastewater treatment standard. But an even bigger factor in “sky-high” EID Sewer bills is that the current EID Board approved Wastewater treatment capacity expansion 50% greater than EID’s current 20,600 Sewer customers… enough for 10,400 additional customers!
So next time you open your Sewer bill, you can thank the current EID Board for costing you $241 annually in interest costs for prematurely building this 50% extra capacity. Just what was the Board thinking? Was making some new Developer “pals”, and some new Bond salesmen “pals”, more important to the Board than prudent, measured capacity expansion and fulfilling their financial fiduciary responsibilities to EID ratepayers?
At EID, there always is more to the story. So,
check back in the following weeks for added installments to
The rest of the story…
New segments coming soon will include:
- Ten year flat Hydroelectric pricing to PG&E
- $1M Weber Dam Giveaway to Developers
- Domestic Irrigation Giveaway