Water and sewer rates should be challenged

To the Editor:

Jan. 1, 2018, will usher in the new water and sewer rates for Troy citizens. When this increase was presented to city council, I expected much discussion and challenges to the proposed increase. A week later the city council voted to pass the increase with only one council member objecting — Mrs. Robin Oda. I know a committee reviews the increase and presents it to council with a recommendation. However, this was pushed through quickly and there was no discussion by the citizens of Troy of which I am aware.

In a review of the water and sewer rates for 16 area communities, Dayton was the lowest with a rate of $169.25/quarter, while number 16, Miami County (Troy), was the highest with a rate of $491.91/quarter. Annually Dayton will pay $677, while citizens of Troy will pay $1,967.64. Troy citizens will pay 190 percent per year more than Dayton. Why would our Troy city council approve such an increase? Is Robin Oda the only member of council concerned with the welfare of Troy citizens? I am sure that our water and sewer department will offer a plausible explanation for the high rates in Troy, but the 16th highest rate out of 16 area counties cannot be adequately explained. I am reminded of the employee who approved a significant price increase from a supplier and when asked to explain why, he said, “He would not have asked for an increase if he did not need it.”

Too often price increases are approved without justification because it requires the customer and supplier to evaluate date that may not be understood.

So what happens now? Do we hire a consultant to review the departments involved? I think not, when we have county engineer making $70,000 plus per year who are supposed to review these operations. Do we replace our city council members with people like Robin Oda who are concerned about cost increases? How about hiring one or two people from Dayton to show us how to effectively manage our utilities?

Those communities using Troy water and sewer need to step up and challenge these rate increases when they negotiate new agreements.


— John Soutar