Letter: Cloquet water rates need transparency
Our city water and sewer rates were increased this past month, February. The letter accompanying these increases seemed misleading, saying: "Prior to 2018, the City had not increased water rates since 2010 and sewer rates since 2014."
It sounded like we were being told rates haven't increased in several years, yet they just increased six months ago, last August. I had to read it several times before I concluded that this seemed to be disguising the recent increase of just six months ago.
Why not be straightforward about it and just say in simple words what it is, something like this: "Water and sewer rates just increased six months ago, and unfortunately, they are increasing again."
Using the formula the letter provided, I did the math and discovered that the water rate is being overcharged. Inquiring at City Hall, I was informed that there is a state fee of 55 cents added to the water's price; however, it is not shown on the bill.
I wonder how many residents are aware of this. If the state requires this fee, why does it have to be hidden? There is room on my bill to show a separate, additional line item.
We often hear the word "transparency" these days. The current City Council consists of four newly elected members and a fifth member in a new position from the last council. I'd say the voters in the last election indicated they want things to be more clear.
These two points I've addressed can be an opportunity to change something concealed and make it transparent.