Thursday, October 9, 2008
The Battle Over Nashville's Water Fees
by PJ Tobia
on Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 3:18 PM
But the council delayed voting on the bill Tuesday amid concerns that changes would jeopardize $5 million in late fees that the city relies on to finance some water services.
So basically Metro water is so strapped for cash that it has to soak (heh) some of the people who can least afford these extra costs. This is in addition to other bill fatteners like the dreaded storm-water fee. There is also very likely going to be an increase in Nashville water prices coming sometime in the near future.
The council has been assured that Mayor Dean is working on a new plan to keep the Metro utility’s head above water (double heh!) without the $10 flat fee.
Metro councilman Sam Coleman, who introduced the legislation that got killed this week, tells the daily that if Dean doesn’t come through with the new proposal, he’ll reintroduce his bill.
This should be interesting to watch. Metro water hasn’t had a significant rate increase in some time, and from what I hear, the aqua-infrastructure is crumbling. The flat late fee may soon be a thing of the past, but I fear that something just as expensive will take its place.
The Metro Council has decided to put off changing the late fee scheme of the water department. So before you click to a more interesting post or start surfing for nekkid ladies, let me explain why this is bad.
Right now, no matter how big or small your water bill is, you will be charged a flat $10 fee if you pay it late. For elderly people on fixed incomes or folks of small means who are more likely to pay bills late, this fee is a killer. Many water bills are under $15 bucks a month, so sometimes the fee effectively doubles the monthly tally.
The most egregious part of this is why the council put off voting on a bill that would have changed the fee scheme. From