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Old 09-15-2011, 11:24 AM
 
739 posts, read 2,877,534 times
Reputation: 310

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Hello All,

If you live in west Pflugerville and are serviced by Monarch/SouthWest Water Co, then you may have your rates raised 40%+. Not everyone reads all the mail they get sent, but Monarch sent the proposed rates to us. Here are a few articles on the matter:

Some Pflugerville residents facing steep water rate hikes

http://impactnews.com/round-rock-pflugerville/254-recent-news/14481-monarch-seeks-waterwastewater-rate-increase-pflugerville-to-contest (broken link)

Im not sure what we can do about it. But I did the math and based on the new rates last months bill would have gone from $108 to $158. Thats a huge difference.

Maybe we need to push the city for a town hall meeting and have them contact all residents of the effected area?

Here are some good contacts:

Brandon Wade, City manager
512-990-6101
citymanager@cityofpflugerville.com

Lauri Gillam
Assistant City Manager
512-990-6104
laurig@cityofpflugerville.com

Texas State Senators

Senate
District 5--Senator Steve Ogden
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0105
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068, Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711

Senate
District 14--Senator Kirk Watson
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0114
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068, Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711

Texas State Representatives

House
District 46--Representative Dawnna Dukes
District Address: P.O. Box 2910
Austin TX 78701
Phone: (512) 463-0506

House
District 50--Representative Mark Strama
District Address: P.O. Box 2910
Austin TX 78768
Phone: (512) 463-0821

House District 52--Representative Larry Gonzales
District Address: P.O. Box 2910
Austin TX 78768
(512) 463-0670
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Pflugerville
2,211 posts, read 4,428,552 times
Reputation: 2234
We are in a drought though. Maybe the price of water SHOULD rise, because it is becoming more scarce. Isnt that how supply/demand work?

We have to start conserving. Voluntary conservation has failed miserably. I would rather them raise rates than start checking individual meters and issuing fines.

I maybe going against my socialist roots here, but I don't see what contacting the local government or having a town hall will do? Other than invite the government into subsidizing water and controlling it's prices, and I dont' want them to do that. I want them to make sure the water is clean, but let the economy decide what it's worth.

Just my 2c
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Round Rock
481 posts, read 2,243,690 times
Reputation: 244
I agree the drought has a lot to do with it. I remember a town last summer - Liberty Hill maybe - that would shut off your water once you hit 7000/gallons for the month. They may have those electric water meters so just driving by can read your meter.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
9,247 posts, read 24,730,747 times
Reputation: 2825
I never knew there was a West Pflugerville. Sorry, just had to throw that in there. I agree with the others. Maybe people will use a little less because eventually there will be a strain on the supply.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,379 posts, read 31,551,351 times
Reputation: 7724
Well, after reading the article, it is a little disturbing - it appears they are granted sole rights to provide water in that area. I guess they need some sort of approval to raise rates, based on the statement:
Quote:
Monarch Utilities I LP, owned by California-based SouthWest Water Co., asked the City of Pflugerville for approval to raise water rates
and:
Quote:
If the city rebuffs Monarch's request, the utility can appeal to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which has the final say.
What if both the city and TCEQ say no to rate increase? Can the water company just shut down? What kind of demonstration are they required to make to support the request? They say the increases are for "environmentally-responsible upgrades", but they need a "several-thousand-page request" to demonstrate that? I say kick it up to the TCEQ, which has a lot more man-power and the elected officials will not get the heat for approving it. In fact, I can't figure out a reason they would, why would the benefit?
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:00 PM
 
739 posts, read 2,877,534 times
Reputation: 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by love roses View Post
I never knew there was a West Pflugerville. Sorry, just had to throw that in there. I agree with the others. Maybe people will use a little less because eventually there will be a strain on the supply.
Excuseeeee me... I meant the west area of Pflugerville.

And yes, we should encourage conversation... why dont you come over and take a look at my water barrels (which have been empty for awhile now due to no rain) and my completely dead grass I have not watered once this summer due to the drought.

I am okay with an increase, but not a 48% increase in my bill. Not to mention we already pay the most out of all the Pflugerville areas. I guarantee if you water bill in Hutto was to rise over 40% you would not be happy either.
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:03 PM
 
739 posts, read 2,877,534 times
Reputation: 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayBrown80 View Post
I maybe going against my socialist roots here, but I don't see what contacting the local government or having a town hall will do? Other than invite the government into subsidizing water and controlling it's prices, and I dont' want them to do that. I want them to make sure the water is clean, but let the economy decide what it's worth.

Just my 2c
The problem is the economy cant decide. We have no options unlike electricity.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,067 posts, read 78,502,744 times
Reputation: 27662
Quote:
Originally Posted by love roses View Post
I never knew there was a West Pflugerville. Sorry, just had to throw that in there. I agree with the others. Maybe people will use a little less because eventually there will be a strain on the supply.
It's just west of "East Pflugerville"

FWIW that's the first time I've heard West Pflugerville myself and I've been in Pflugerville since 1996.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
2,393 posts, read 9,051,540 times
Reputation: 798
Isn't it for improvements that are needed? I was so happy when I bought my home a few years ago,(though Lower water bills than city of Leander water) then the month I moved in it went up by $75 to pay for the pumps needed in this area. We all have to pay for something. I rather have good clean water rather than brown murky stuff that barely passes EPA rules. Its part of paying for living here. I remember a friend saying she was Pflugerville and me thinking where the heck was that...that was the 70s and it was just a small town not connected at all to Austin..now it has an east and West..way to go P-ville! LOL
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:36 AM
 
7,411 posts, read 13,052,987 times
Reputation: 3971
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayBrown80 View Post
We are in a drought though. Maybe the price of water SHOULD rise, because it is becoming more scarce. Isnt that how supply/demand work?

We have to start conserving. Voluntary conservation has failed miserably. I would rather them raise rates than start checking individual meters and issuing fines.

I maybe going against my socialist roots here, but I don't see what contacting the local government or having a town hall will do? Other than invite the government into subsidizing water and controlling it's prices, and I dont' want them to do that. I want them to make sure the water is clean, but let the economy decide what it's worth.

Just my 2c
They can have tiered pricing so rates go up less below a certain level of usage. This will help lower income people and have higher income (usage) people pay disproportionately.

If dems want to reduce carbon emissions, they can do it by raising gas prices with gas taxes to reduce consumption.
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