Staff writer Janet Lundquist wrote a story that appeared in the Feb. 10 Herald-News about a likely hike in Plainfield's water/sewer bills.
Plainfield uses Lake Michigan water and needs to hike prices because "the water and sewer budget has an operating loss of $500,000 to $600,000," said Public Works Director Allen Persons.
Basically, our source hiked the price, so we need to pay more. I don't have a problem with that. When Joliet hiked water/sewer rates, we got calls from people freaking out over having to pay the actual cost of their water instead of having it subsidized by casino funds. (Cue the flames.)
Plainfield cut jobs, cut OT and didn't hike salaries. This isn't fiscal irresponsibility. And it's time people learn that there's only so much clean water to go around. It's going to cost money. Use it responsibly.
My problem is that instead of hiking the cost by usage, the village is talking about a set monthly fee for everyone. Village Administrator Brian Murphy suggested it; officials seemed to agree, but no action has been taken yet.
I'm against a flat fee. This spreads the cost around to everyone evenly from a single-resident home that uses water-efficient appliances to a family of seven that leaves the sprinkler on 10 hours a day just because. What incentive is there to be a responsible water consumer when the village essentially says we should all be punished for rates going up? Just pass the rates on to us based on use. Let the guy who is watering his lawn all summer pay his fair share for his decision to waste water that was treated to make it potable on his nonnative grasses.
Consider it like a sin tax. No one wants to pay higher state taxes but they tend to support higher taxes on alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, etc. The idea is that you can choose whether you use it and if how much. Can you imagine if there was an extra fee on your state taxes to help pay for your neighbors' cigarettes? You'd flip out. Well, I don't want to pay for someone to have green, nondormant grass during a drought. That's a luxury and a sin. Charge him appropriately. Don't make me pay for his choices.