I would like to thank James Douglas and Jerry Eilsland for their thoughtful letters to you published on Friday, Jan. 21, concerning the water rate increases for those of us in the Pine Strawberry area.
Imagine my surprise in January when I received my Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District water bill and discovered that the cost of water in Pine had risen, for my home, 53.22 percent. This was not preceded in any way with a notice from the entity or even a courtesy e-mail. When I called, I was told I could now use as much water as I wanted since the limit prior to any surcharge is 3,000 gallons per month.
That is a great benefit to full-time residents but leaves part-time residents with a huge increase in monthly expense for a service not received. We have a 5/8-inch water line and can now use up to 3,000 gallons of water monthly. We never use that much and, as a matter of pride, have taken steps in our home to be wise water consumers: tankless water heaters and low-flow toilets.
I understand that changes were needed for our water security in the Pine Strawberry area. My complaint is the new rate structure does not encourage conservation but conversely opens up the opportunity for increased water consumption in an area with limited water resources.
The structure is punitive to those of us who choose to conserve. Additionally, formal, written notification of the rate change should have been sent to the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District users.
Lee Schafer Atonna
Phoenix / Pine