We are writing this in an effort to reopen the discussion about the lakeshore water pipeline. Perhaps you felt this issue had been settled, since the letters of mandatory payment have now been mailed out. We, too, felt this issue was settled over 10 years ago when the pipeline was first introduced. At that time, we stated we did not want a pipeline, and questioned if it was put through if we would be required to pay fees for it or be forced to hook up. Many times over we were given assurances and promised that this would never happen.
However, Council voted to go back on their word. Mayor Kraemer said it best at the April 9, meeting, "I believe it is a broken promise and a broken deal." [quote from an article dated April 18, 2014.] This broken promise and broken deal has now resulted in property owners along the shoreline being charged, approximately $7,200 some 10 years later - fees that have increased over the passage of time.
We understand that there is a debt that council needs to address. In repeated discussions it has been pointed out that water and sewer reserve funds of the municipality are healthy and could be used to cover the cost of this debt. It is also suggested that "the remaining capacity of the pipeline will adequately restore the fund taken from the reserves.'' There are other options. But with two councillors absent, in a narrow vote of three to four, the council approved imposing a capital charge on residents to pay off the lingering debt. A person is only as good as their word is what we were taught, and we believe this should still hold true.
This is unfair to those of us who, after being assured we would not have to hook up or pay a fee for the pipeline, are now required to do so. As retirees and senior citizens on a fixed income, a bill of $7,200 is substantial and burdensome, and yet according to the council we have to decide within the next few weeks, by June 16, how we will pay. This in itself appears heavy handed. The council needs to understand that this hefty bill is a toll and hardship to the people concerned. Whether it be a lump sum or in installments, that money will severely affect our fixed budget.
I'm sure we are not alone in this. There are others along the lakeshore, similarly situated (retired persons, seniors) and those who are alarmed at the precedent of a council that would go back on its word.
As stated, We would like to reopen this discussion and would appreciate any councillor who would be willing to discuss this further to give us a call. We would also be interested in talking to any person along the shoreline affected by this matter who also has concerns. We can be reached at 519-396-8154.
Marian and Jim Daniel