Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Greens on Richmond water rates

This notice just came in from the Richmond Green Party:

"At Monday’s Richmond City Council meeting, the Chairperson for the Richmond Green Party, Scott Burger, addressed city leaders about the City’s residential water rates. The Richmond Green Party is very concerned about the wise use of limited natural resources, including water. In recent years, shortages of water have occurred in the Richmond area as the result of serious droughts and the unwise use of the resource. One important variable that influences conservation of water is the rates charged to the consumer. Unfortunately, the rates charged to residential consumers of water in the City of Richmond provide a discount for those using the greatest amount of water, and cause those who conserve water to subsidize those who waste water.

"In other words, Richmond’s utility charges each citizen $43.55 in minimum water and wastewater service charges. Burger noted that with a mandatory solid waste charge of $17.50, and a recycling charge of $1.64 tacked onto the minimum water bill, the first glass of water from a typical residential service in Richmond will cost $62.70. It is unjust for the city to place these exorbitant service charges on minimum water use.

“'It is shameful that Richmond provides a half-price discount in residential water rates for those who use vast amounts of water, over 100 CCF (hundred cubic feet). This encourages waste at a time when the water resources of the region are stressed,' said Burger, who also brought a chart of typical minimum bills for the area and displayed it at the City Council meeting.

"Reforming Richmond's draconian water rate structure is both a conservation issue and a social justice issue. No longer should we force those who conserve water to subsidize half-price discounts for those who waste water. No longer should a senior citizen or indigent family have to pay a ridiculous fee for minimum water and sewer service. By acting now, the City of Richmond will minimize water shortages in the future."

According to Burger, comparing Richmond’s approach on this issue to that of cities, such as Alexandria, Hopewell, Norfolk -- even New York City! -- puts Richmond in a bad light. To read more about the principles of the Green Party, or to get involved, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. I am wondering when the local mainstream media will pick up on it. Richmond possibly has the most regressive minimum water service rate in the United States.