By: Diane Benjamin
Water rates go up 2% every year without a Council vote. That isn’t enough money for the Town however.
1:08:15 – Chris Koos tells Stan Nord to quit bringing up past Council actions. This story is for you Mr. Mayor because past Council actions are why the Town wants to increase water rates more than 2%.
See Kathleen Lorenz at 6:36:35 lament the water fund problem. She includes the exploding cost of employee benefits, but that’s another story.
Some things you need to know:
That statement is from last year’s budget, the Town thinks water user fees should pay for snowplow equipment too: https://blnnews.com/2021/10/06/water-bills-are-for-water-not-in-normal/
Lorenz stated the Town is $375,000 short and the rate increase will only bring in $185,000. The snow plow equipment was $81,018. Still think that move last September was smart Kathleen? Stan Nord was the only NO vote.
More you need to know:
This statement is also from the budget. The Town transfers some of the money citizens pay for water to a Capital Investment account, basically they save up money for big projects. The only thing wrong with that is what they spent $4.75 million on from the account: https://blnnews.com/2021/07/29/normals-rivian-water-project/ and https://blnnews.com/2021/01/30/why-is-normal-spending-millions-to-run-water-to-rivian/
The Town spent $250,000 on an engineering study for running water lines on West College. Then they spent $4.75 million running the water lines – on top of lines Bloomington already has.
I remember that discussion at the budget meeting LAST year. Koos would not allow staff to answer Stan Nord questions. Even though this spending was not on the Community Investment Plan, it suddenly popped up as critical. I do remember someone mentioning this was for future expansions of services, no customers yet demanding it. It was sold as decreasing bills for everyone as more customers are added to the system.
How’s that working out Kathleen?
Below is a visual version showing this “critical project” exploded the budget for this year and led to the need to increase fees:
Money had to be taken out of the Water Fund and transferred to the Investment Fund to pay for the College Ave work. That depleted the Water Fund the Town now wants to raise your rates to pay for.
That is why Chris Koos doesn’t want Stan Nord reminding people of past Council actions. He wants you to believe it’s your fault and you need to pay up. Kathleen Lorenz is just one of the 5 “problems” on the Council. 6 out of 7 are either trying to deceive citizens or they just believe what they are told and go along with it. Occasionally they need to think for themselves. (Don’t expect that to happen however)
All referenced documents can be found here: https://normal.org/127/Budget