Charge everyone the same rate

By From page A6 | June 12, 2014

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “fair” as:

* Agreeing with what is thought to be right or acceptable;

* Treating people in a way that does not favor some over others;

* Not too harsh or critical, and sufficient but not ample.

The city’s Utility Rate Water Advisory Committee asked what is fair. What is fair in terms of water rates is to charge everyone the same rate, whether it is water used by a business, single-family home or an apartment.

Three-tiered systems are not fair. Charging people extra for water used in the summer and charging people rates next year for water they used a year ago is not fair. The only fair thing to do is figure out what amount you need to charge per gallon of water usage and add a percentage to that. So if it now costs 10 cents a gallon, for instance, charge people 13 cents a gallon. Figure out what it will take to pay for the project. And then charge everyone the same rate.

Fair is a concept they teach in kindergarten. I am surprised that the people on the committee are having such a difficult time defining it.

Lee Ann D’Amato

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