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We were told a recent 17% rate hike to South Granville Water and Sewer Authority customers was put into place due to the shortfall resulting from the federal prison lowering its consumption of water, and was delayed until all the data had been calculated, so the hike would reflect the change, and wouldn’t have to be done in increments. In short, one big hike versus a couple of smaller ones.
Yet, just a few months later, we are facing yet another rate hike, which comes as no surprise to me. I’ve been stating all along that SGWASA was in way over its head and the only way out would be on the backs of customers.
This new hike clearly demonstrates how little impact the board has on circumstances and conditions involving SGWASA. All the board members said they hated the idea of another rate hike, but in the end, all except one, new member Ed Mims, voted for it. SGWASA Finance Chairman Tim Karan, who was one of the founding fathers of SGWASA, doesn’t even reside in the SGWASA service area.
Local mayors and commissioners need to take a close hard look at whether or not operating SGWASA with a paid board is really the most efficient and effective. We are in the midst of a health crisis requiring everyone to tighten their belts and find ways to lower operating costs, so eliminating $28,000 per year from the SGWASA budget would certainly be a positive step in that direction.
They now have a highly seasoned and experienced executive director who is surely capable of handling and navigating the entity in the best possible manner, so having seven ceremonial board members does not appear to be efficient or cost effective.
We are in a new world now, and the economic impact of this pandemic will be long lasting. SGWASA needs to become more modern and cost effective. Other utilities or service industries do not require customers to attend a board meeting to voice complaints or find resolution to issues. Eliminate the board!