Chesterton Tribune

Answers needed on sewer rate hike issues

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Voice of the People

 

Recently, I wrote to the Voice of the People that I was willing to pay more in order to have clean water. However, Mr. Hiestand has asked, repeatedly, what I consider to be very sensible questions regarding how Mr. Julien of H.J. Umbaugh & Associates came to recommend a specific rate increase. After all, when an individual or business wishes to build a new house or expand a business, they may need to borrow money to finance it.

Normally, a lender would like to know the scope and details of the project in order to determine how much money would be prudent. This example isnít a perfect match, but you can understand where Iím going with it. If these increases are for specific projects, their costs must be known. If these increases are to cover previous shortfalls in budgets, the reasons for the shortfall must be known. Thatís why the townís salaried experts, hired an outside financial consultant.

But, ďWhereís the beef (answers)?Ē If Mr. Hiestandís questions arenít answered (promptly), then itís evident Mr. Julien must have been guessing. And, if thatís so, H.J. Umbaugh & Associates should return any fees paid to them for this project. And, the Town Council should explain to local residents who are going to pay these increases, why and how they voted for this without presenting the answers to these specific questions which were asked at previous public meetings.

J. Sutlin

 

Posted 9/28/2006

 

 

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