Another surprise from the Town. After recently imposing a hefty storm water fee in March, the Council has unanimously voted to increase the water rates, effective in August.
The Storm Water surcharge was a total fiasco. No one seemed to know what charge was appropriate as the #’s discussed ranged from $9 to $30 per month. Quite a range. Of course, they settled on a higher number as opposed to the lower estimates. To make matters worse, the Town instituted a “tiered” approach to apply the fees. As an example. Even though our property layouts are quite similar, we are being charged 50% more than my neighbor. Why not just charge each customer based on their actual exposure as opposed to a tiered approach? It would seem much more equitable. What is also alarming is that there are already discussions about increasing the monthly fees by 20%. This is an increase on a fee implemented less than 6 months ago!
Recently, the Council voted unanimously to increase our already high water rates. The rates will be increasing 7% annually or 22.5% over 3 years, not an insignificant amount. To mitigate the impact on the customer, the Town always throws out a bogus usage number of 5000 gal. per month. This is an unrealistic number as much of the population are short timers. Obviously, when gone, they use no water and including them in the average is deceiving.
The Storm Water fee had a major impact on residents and evidently it will get worse. Now, the water rates are increasing at an alarming rate. I have to ask myself what will be next? My confidence level of current Town leadership and management is very, very low.
Fort Myers Beach