Someone has to ‘pay’ for water
Affordable water for our city parks has been a hot-button issue for years. A number of cities along the front range (Pueblo, Denver, Boulder) water their parks at a discounted rate or charge nothing. Their reasoning — parks belong to the residents of the city. Municipal water belongs to the residents of the city. Why charge the people for the people’s water? Colorado Springs Utilities will counter — someone has to “pay” for that water.
So how much are we talking about, say per month? According to Utilities’ analysis, if the utility were to provide $1,000,000 worth of free water to parks, it would cost the average household 38 cents per month and the average business 90 cents per month.
The Trails and Open Space Coalition conducted a statistical survey 18 months ago gauging local support for parks. We found that an overwhelming majority not only use and support their parks — they would be willing to pay slightly higher taxes if it meant improved maintenance. We think many residential customers would support paying an extra dollar per month to water parks. And if the parks department could spend that additional million to improve existing trails — imagine what could be done for the Homestead Trail, Rockrimmon Trail, or trails within Palmer Park.
We support Mayor Bach as he aggressively pursues ways to cut the parks water budget. And while we are grateful for Utilities’ considerable investment in retrofitting aging irrigation systems in parks, we think there should be a municipal rate for parks.
Our 135 neighborhood parks, 7 community parks, 7 regional parks and 13,000 acres of open space absorb and slow down the flow of rainwater. Our problems with stormwater would be greatly magnified and far more expensive if our parks didn’t exist. That should be worth 38 cents.
Susan Davies, Trails and Open
Did we get the facts right?
The Sept. 8, issue of Science News contains a detailed look (according to the author) at the “facts” of fracking. The City Council has approved some regs. Did those deal with the issues (not the hysteria!)? Seems much of the threats to human life comes from the use and disposition of the wastewater and the chemicals it may contain, according to the article. I do not know if the printed facts are right, but I’m curious — did we do it right?
Questions for Springs Utilities
I share Mayor Steve Bach’s concern about the $8.3 million in “marketing costs” spent by the Colorado Springs Utilities — a monopoly. I get it that some money must be spent to educate people about conserving energy, how to be energy-efficient, etc., etc.
My question to the Utilities Board is this: Are these marketing efforts providing us with $8.3 million worth of energy savings and efficiency?
If they answer yes, my next question is: How do they know? I would bet they cannot answer either question satisfactorily.
How utilities pays for marketing
Thank you, Mayor Bach, for investigating the spending by Colorado Springs Utilities.
I had gone on their budget billing two years ago so I would have a consistent utility bill for easier budgeting.
Last year there was an increase in it to accommodate price increases etc. and it was maybe 20 percent max.
I just got my renewal notice, and my utility bill has gone up over $100 per month. What is wrong here?
Now Mr. Bach, you know how the utility company is paying for outside marketing specialists.
Preventing the suffering
In the opinion section (Dec. 1), a writer condemns the American Academy of Pediatrics for recommending that young people be supplied with contraceptives.
His premise is that sex should wait until after age 18, or even better, wait for marriage.
There is a key word in Saturday’s letter: suffer. The writer clearly hopes that “disobedient” young people will be made to “suffer the consequences” of sex (read “pregnancy”).
The fact of the matter is that kids do have sex. As parents, we may not like it, but it is what it is. Our job is to protect our dependent children, whether it be from illness, accidents, drunken drivers or pregnancy. Try as we may, we will not be able to stop them from making some stupid choices. However, contraceptives will protect not only the young person, but also prevent the suffering brought upon an unwanted child, unwittingly created.
Democracy finally collapsing
In 1887, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic about 2,000 years before his time.
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.
A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.
From that moment on, the majority will always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits.
This results in the democracy finally collapsing because of loose fiscal policy.
The form of government to follow is always a dictatorship.”
Interesting to say the least.
Boyce W. Wiltrout
Send info with utility’s bill
Mayor Bach is correct in questioning the more than 8.3 million spent in the past five years by the Colorado Springs Utilities on outside marketing and public relations firms. Utilities claim they have a responsibility to keep all customers and businesses informed.
How about the Utilities sending their public service material with the monthly bills when needed?
Money saved and customers informed.
Donald W. Kusulas