Open letter of Dawson City council on water rates

Why has city council decided to increase, at a minimum, the commercial water rates by 13 per cent and the commercial sewer rates by 15 per cent?

Why has city council decided to increase, at a minimum, the commercial water rates by 13 per cent and the commercial sewer rates by 15 per cent?

Increases of this magnitude to only the commercial sector cannot be imposed without providing property owners with a cost of service study on which the decision is based. This critical step must precede a decision of this magnitude as it is the only ways citizens can hold their council accountable.

Without evidence arising from a cost of service study that the cost of responding to the demands by the commercial sector for water and sewer services has sharply escalated, thus making an increase of such magnitude inevitable, how can council justify its decision?

A thorough cost of service study does more than anticipate cost increases, it also provides evidence of distinct increases in the cost of providing services to the commercial sector in past years to provide the rationale for a new rate increase.

It may also reveal cost-saving opportunities that may not be evident in the absence of such a study.

Without a cost of service study providing such information summarized commercial water and sewer users are left to assume that their rates are being increased because council has the legal power to do so. ls that what council is telling commercial users?

Could it be that council has decided that commercial users must subsidize residential and institutional users? Without a cost of service study, how are citizens to hold their council accountable for decisions of this kind?

In closing, I respectfully ask that you rescind the decision to increase commercial water and sewer rates and that you reconsider the matter once you have completed and published a comprehensive cost of service study.

Peter Jenkins

Dawson City

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