Saturday, June 25, 2016

TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! KANSAS CITY SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN AGAINST RISING WATER RATES STARTS COMMUNITY OUTREACH & TESTIMONY!!!



This wordy presser addresses a serious and rising concern in Kansas City . . .

FIRST ON TKC . . . READ THE DEETS OF A NEW KANSAS CITY COMMUNITY ACTIVIST CAMPAIGN TO STOP RISING WATER RATES!!!

The reality here is not only that the KCMO WATER DEPT. IS LONG OVERDUE FOR AN INDEPENDENT MISSOURI AUDIT but also that the tide of water rate increases threaten to ruin the so-called "low cost of living" that makes local life so attractive to millennials, tourists and Downtown denizens.
 
Here's the word . . .

New Residential Water Rates Discriminate Against The Poor, New Watchdog Group Charges

(Kansas City, MO) -- The recent increase in the water rates charged to residential customers in Kansas City, Mo., amounts to utility rate discrimination by the local government against poor and low income people, a newly formed watchdog group charges.

The group, the Right2Water Coalition-KCMO, has started a “Stop Water Rate Hike in KCMO” campaign on Facebook. The coalition accuses city officials and KC Water Services of imposing an austerity tax on local poor, unemployed, and low income people, many of whom never recovered from the so-called Great Recession. They say the water service is no longer affordable, and that some people’s water bills have tripled due to the rate increase

All residential water customers are being charged higher rates. However, everyone cannot afford to pay the higher rates, the coalition says. The coalition says many currently middle class people will be made poor when they cannot pay their water bills, and there will be hundreds, or thousands, of people whose water will be shut off completely.

The city’s water ”payment” plan or deferred payment structure will not be enough, neither will grants or charity, according to the Right2 Water Coalition. Meanwhile, wholesale partners and industrial/commercial customers seem to have been given a pass to pay the lion’s share of sewage and water pipe infrastructure replacement and upkeep. This amounts to utility rate discrimination, which is forbidden by federal and state law.

According to the coalition, decades of poor management of the water infrastructure by city officials has caused today’s crisis, and the rise in residential water rates in Kansas City, Mo. is not the answer. It is city government mismanagement and failure to voluntarily take care of sewage and environmental controls which caused the federal government to sue the city government for releasing raw sewage into the Missouri River.

City officials were asleep at the wheel, the coalition charges, and as a result, the federal government forced the city government to enter into a federal consent decree requiring the city government to abide by federal environmental regulations. The EPA fined Kansas City $600,000 and made the city spend another $1.6 million for supplemental environmental controls that would prevent further sewage leaks. Now, city officials want to punish the people of the city to pay for the officials’ mismanagement and mistakes by enacting massive water rate hikes, the coalition says.

The coalition maintains that city officials have engaged in a deceptive public relations campaign and false accounting to justify the residential water rate increases. The coalition says KC Water Services claims and other declarations by city officials, which dictate that they must spend billions at the direction of the EPA, is a false claim. City officials created the $2.5 billion plan. Federal authorities just approved it. The coalition says that local officials have never publicly released the entire plan they submitted to the EPA to the local press or the public at-large.

In addition, the coalition says, city officials have not made any progress report or any financial report giving line item accounting of what they were purchasing to complete the plan, such as what type of pipes are being used. Therefore, it is impossible for the public to be sure that there is not fraud, waste, or abuse of resources in the project.

The expenditures could be fabricated, the plan filled with cost overruns, waste, and other improper expenditures., says JoNina Ervin, coalition spokesperson. “What the water company spends on this project also determines the amount of revenue to be recovered. Overall, it might be substantially less than $2.5 billion to complete this job, and the plan reflects the amount that customers are to be charged.

“We need to hear and see estimates and competitive bidding proposals and contracts for all expenditures. We also believe that people might be willing to pay a one-cent sales tax for 25 years, rather than $100 or more extra per month on their water bills for that same 25 years,” Ervin said.

The coalition believes that charging customers 50 to 70 per cent increases on their water bills is not the best way, and is in fact price gouging for water services. Ervin said that the coalition will seek to overturn the latest rate increase through a complaint to the State Public Counsel, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection unit, and/or court litigation by filing a class action lawsuit by private attorneys. The water rate hike is unjust enrichment, price fixing, and creative accounting, which cannot be trusted. Thus, the coalition says the answer is to create a citizens’ movement to keep the city-owned water company accountable.

Ervin said, “We are just getting started, but we are seeking to build a mass movement of ratepayers to KC Water Services.”

To educate the public on the issues, the coalition is holding the first of several community speak-outs on Saturday, July 9, at the Quilombo Community Center, 3504 Woodland Ave., Kansas City, Mo., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The speak-outs will also act as planning sessions for further building the movement and let ratepayers comment about the impact of the water rate hike on their families and households.

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19 Comments:

Anonymous said...

KC doesn't care about water, police or their employees. It's all a shell game.

Wish these folks luck but City Hall has rejected a water dept. audit previously and nowadays they have proven that they no longer require checks or balances from any outside government body.

Anonymous said...

Look, I am just as pissed off about this as the rest of you, but I ain't going to 35th and Woodland without Seal Team 6 to lay down some cover fire while Chuck Norris takes the point, before I go in there.

Anonymous said...

They're building new houses a block away.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Are you aware the streetcar authority paid nothing for the replacement And repositioning of the sewers and water lines along the streetcar route? All of these costs were passed along to KCMO tax payers citywide somewhere between $25,000,000 and $50,000,000. This has a lot to do with the increase in water bills. These costs should have been charged to the streetcar authority and passed along to the people in the TDD who voted for the streetcar. The same is true for gas and electric bills.

They will do the same thing on the expansion. Get set for higher rates if they expand the streetcar.

Anonymous said...

Water & Sewer rates are the mother load of cash.

Anonymous said...

Get a job!...or learn how to vote...

Anonymous said...

Need to start a petition to forced to city doing audit of the water department

Anonymous said...

And you rubes approved the Etax.

Anonymous said...

Maintenance of the water and sewer systems in KCMO has been neglected for years as one glamour/legacy project after another drained cash and distracted the folks at 12th and Oak from the actual responsibilities of leading and managing a city.
Now the bill is coming due and leading the way with the sewer issues is the EPA itself.
The city's priorities haven't changed; it's still run by amateur real estate developers and empty vessels stampeded by the latest fads like creative class urbanism and streetcars.
So with utility maintenance low on the list of priorities, the money has to come from somewhere.
And that somewhere is YOU.
Regardless of all the hype and empty promises, arithmetic and facts always win.

Steve Hanson said...

You would think that with property tax and the 1% etax, this city could afford to fix the water system without raising rates. But no, we have to have the street car! Mayor Sly shit for brains.

Anonymous said...

Water funds and aviation funds are slush funds for the corrupt crime machine in City Hall. The City has to approve the State of Missouri coming in to do an independent audit. They always reject....because they do not want the slush fund facts to be revealed.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the streetcar had nothing to do with increased water rates. It was just good planning and smart of the city to replace sewer and water infrastructure, as mandated by the EPA, while the road was torn up for the construction anyway.

Nice try, tinfoilhatboy. Swing and a miss. Maybe you are better off without he "streetcars remind me of slave days" thing after all.

Anonymous said...

Grab the towels and soap, kiddies. This City of Fountains 'bout ta get bubbly!

Anonymous said...

10:17 -- what's new houses gonna do? Same as a new police station, huh?

Anonymous said...

TOP PHOTO

Don't throw the babes out with the bathwater!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The fraud of the century is that City Hall promoted three absolute losers to Director of Housing, Aviation and Land Bank. Sherri McIntyre should have been fired a long time ago as Public Works Director but apparently if you suck (and kiss) ass at your job, you get promoted. It's all a racket. Water Department needs more than an audit, people need to be walked out of City Hall in handcuffs.

Anonymous said...

I think we want niggers bathing more, not less, right?

Anonymous said...

fascinating point with the bigoted comment above, anonymous bigot poster.

- Sean L.

Anonymous said...

Amazing how fucking stupid and apathetic the people of KC can be. The city gets away with this shit because YOU are to apathetic to do anything about it and they damn well know it. Just look at the money wasting shit this city has spent your money on over the past decades and at best you fat and moan a little, roll over and stick your asses in the air waiting for more. When people learn to recall, vote, protest and draw the line the shit will stop ....nevermind ..nothing is going to change.