It seems that no matter how much progress we make as a community, there is always someone who gripes because progress costs money and this letter is meant for those who want the benefit of improvements, but do not agree with paying their fair share.
Anyone who has lived here for more than three years can remember when Brooke Utilities was our water “provider” and what a joke their “service” was. With frequent periods of no water at the tap and water “stages” that meant we could expect a higher bill for our water next month because water had to be hauled to our community and we could not enjoy living up here in one of the most beautiful and pleasant places on earth.
Dealing with Mr.Hardcastle, the front man for Brooke Utilities, was anything but pleasant and he used the ACC much to his advantage. I have often wondered how he got them in his pocket, but surely he must have had them there because they never met a request for a rate increase they didn’t like, or refused to grant.
So, here we are now, with a dilapidated water system that we paid too much for and must be fixed to properly serve our community, but, it is now our water system, it no longer belongs to Mr. Hardcastle and we are in control of our water. That was the first improvement.
To those who complain and want to take out their meter because they are “paying too much” for water I say, go for it, rip that sucker out, reduce your property value, increase your insurance rate, and haul your own water up the hill when you come for a visit, and, when the time comes that you need a water meter, you can pay the price to get it back.
I have been here 11 years and my water bill has been between $25 per month, when we were out of town for that month, and $180 a month during the peak season when Brooke was ripping us off for “hauling fees,” so finally having a stable and predictable water bill at only $36 is another improvement in my mind.
If you own a home up here as a “second home” it is probably because you live and work elsewhere and you can afford your second home because you squeeze a dollar until the eagle screams. The fact that you do not see the basic monthly fee as a direct benefit to you is a narrow-minded point of view.
There is a cost to fix the water system we bought from Brooke Utilities and we agreed to pay that cost when we closed the deal. We are doing that by sharing that cost equally through a basic rate charged to each property. In my mind, this is a fair way to handle the situation. Everyone now has water to use, or not, as they choose, and that is our third improvement.
If you think sending a complaint to the ACC will get you anywhere, do that, and when you receive the response that the ACC does not represent you anymore because you are in the PSWID and PSWID does not answer to the ACC, then you will understand what a lot of us up here felt when we complained to the ACC back when Hardcastle owned the water system and they did nothing for us except approve his request for another rate increase every time we complained.
I would not be in favor of a reduced rate for you as a “part timer” simply because you get the benefit of the improvements the same as I do, and I pay my fair share like everyone else.
To those that are only here when it is convenient for them to be here and all they do is complain while they are here, I say welcome to Pine, now go home.