Town of Pinedale hosts public meeting to discuss water meters
by Bob Rule, KPIN 101.1 FM Radio
July 27, 2012
Approximately 30 people attended a meeting Thursday night in the Lovatt Room of the Public Library in Pinedale, to learn more about Pinedale's efforts to bring water meters to a town which for decades has never used water meters to measure how much water any given customer uses. It was announced at the meeting that Pinedale is in the process of paying off the debt on its water/sewer system upgrades. It was explained at the meeting that a primary reason for moving from no water meters to a system where everyone has a water meter is that in order to go after certain grant money, the Town must have water meters in use on its water system.
A straw vote was taken, to ask those attending if they wanted water meters or not. About one-third of those attending voted against water meters, and two-thirds voted in favor of water meters. Some of those voting in favor of water meters stated, for example, that if someone does computer work in their home as a way of earning a living, the home is then classified as a business, and they have to pay the business rate for their water hookup, even though the water usage in that home is no different than if the home was used strictly as a residence. An argument against the meters was that the primary expense of operating the water system is the construction and maintenance of the water/sewer system, and whether any one given home or business uses a lot of water or very little water is only "nickels and dimes" different in the cost to the Town.
This was the second of four workshops organized by the Town of Pinedale to solicit community input about the future of their water and sewer rates. The consulting firm Stepwise Utility Advisors will be presenting water and sewer rate options at the next workshop meeting in September, however, the Town is not expected to implement the new rate struction for at lesat a year. Mayor Steve Smith told the crowd that "meters are needed in order to charge fair rates, and to ensure access to State grant funds."
A handout was made available at the meeting, answering question which were brought up in a previous meeting. This handout can be found here. (6 page PDF)