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City now in business of selling water

 

Editor’s Note: The following letter is published exactly as it was submitted.

 

Did you fine citizens of Stevensville know that the town is now (or has been) in the business of selling water?
At a Town Council Meeting in July, a question was brought up before the Town Council as why the water-sewer rates were so high and what the council would do do try to keep them in check. Our Mayor’s reply  ( And I quote)
“As you are all well aware of or should be, “WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF SELLING WATER”!!
Did our Mayor mean “We” as a town?  Did he mean “We” as just City Hall selling water?
When I questioned what he said at the next town council meeting, I mentioned to him and the Council that to tell “Johhny Q’ Public that his statement was in bad faith for the City of Stevensivlle, and that it sets a bad precedent on the town as a whole, I of course got no response. First, NO city in Montana “OWNS” the Water that we are using and are billed for.
The town of Stevensville’s Water is a Public Utility that is Paid for by the taxpayers, (Grants included) and loans that we pay back over time to pump, process and send the water to the respective homes and business in town and outlaying areas.
I fully understand why the rates are higher due to the recent upgrades on our city’s Water and Sewer Projects.
But to Say that “WE” are in the “Business end of selling water” is not only wrong, it is not good for bringing in new people to live or start a small or large business in this town. Imagine if you were moving to this town and asked someone (who was informed on this), as to why the water and sewer rates were so high? They might say, “Didn’t you know!. This town is in the business of selling water.
Now the Mayor is one smart cookie and he didn’t want to say Stevensville is in the business of selling sewer also. I don’t think he would get many takers on that. So if we are in the business of selling water we don’t actually own, (Uh-Oh, Shhhh! mums the word) are we not as a city tax-payer entitled to a refund or a small dividend check every month?. Where’s the profits of this going???.  Hmmm. Maybe start Bottling it and selling it. Much more profit in that wouldn’t you think? So when you go to City Hall to pay your monthly water bill,

Please ask them if we are in the Business of Selling Water. If so, ask how you can get in on the stock options or a refund.
I’m sure they will say I was just hearing the birds sing when he said that or he never said it at all. But the proof is in council minutes and on tape. That remark by our Mayor is not only bad for business but is setting up this town for yet another law-suit that will only cost you and I more $$ that we all have so much of. Much like the permissive levy, that is being shoved down our throat on City employee Health (Dental and eye) Insurance. A levy that is now on the final budget that I’m sure will be passed when it was at first tabled, was supposedly going to go away, and now is back up for final vote!!. This levy, once in is there for life. It will never go down as insurance rates go up and our property taxes will pay for it, year after year. (The gift that keeps on giving). It would be nice if the Mayor apologized on saying that our town is selling water (for profit??), this city does not own. But its hard to apologize for something your sure is right now isn’t it?
Robert Michalson
Stevensville

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