Town right to hike water, sewer fees little at a time

Matt Adelman

No one likes their utility rates to increase. By no one, we include the Town of Glenrock officials whose duty it is to oversee the operations of the water, sewer, sanitation and streets departments, namely the town council. Yet, they are the ones who this week proposed raising the rates we will all pay for these services in the coming year.

The reality is costs go up nearly every year. It’s called inflation, and the alternative to that – deflation – is not in anyone’s best interest because it means the economy has really tanked, people are out of work and businesses are shuttering their doors. With inflation, then, comes the fact that we have to pay for the services we want and need.

The council wisely chose to raise rates as little as possible while maintaining quality services. That means they may have to raise rates again in a year, and the year after that. But it also means they didn’t take the Machiavellian approach and raise the costs a whole lot in one action, thus hoping the ensuing cries from the public would be forgotten by the next election cycle. By raising rates every year (potentially), the council members run the risk of reminding voters every year that costs are going up and risking the wrath of their constituents.

The risk is well worth not over-charging customers now to avoid pain in the future. Taxpayers should never have to pay more than the cost of a government service in order to receive that service. Yet, we frequently do because some entities believe that charging fees and making a profit to offset other costs is warranted and smart business. If the government were a business, we would agree. It’s not.

With most businesses, we have a choice if we buy from company A or company B or go without. We don’t have such a choice with most government services, including utilities. We pay whatever the elected officials decide we should pay for a service.

We should thank the Glenrock Town Council members and mayor for recognizing that fact and keeping the costs as low as possible for as long as possible.


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