Our revenue is flat, largely due to decreasing water consumption, as well as below-average rate increases. In fact, we had no rate increases at all for four years straight from 2010 to 2013, because we wanted to help our constituents during the Great Recession. Now, we need to increase rates so that we can fund necessary infrastructure projects.
In addition, much of our infrastructure is getting old and needs to be replaced. The cost to maintain and upgrade our infrastructure continues to increase and will only get worse as the entire system ages. For example, we spend about $2 million every year to repair main breaks, and the cost has been steadily rising as our system ages. Without more investment in our aging water and sewer system, we will begin to experience:
- Decreased quality, reliability, and level of service
- Higher maintenance costs
- Increased risk to public health and safety, as well as the environment
Our water and sewer systems protect public health and the environment, support economic development, and ensure a high quality of life for our citizens. Many times we take these vital services for granted, simply because they are always there when we need them and much of the infrastructure is "out of sight and out of mind." We must reinvest in our water and sewer system to make sure that it continues to support our local economy, our communities, and our environment. The time is now.