Water, Sewer Fees Skyrocket

The Albemarle County Service Authority is jacking up rates for sewer and water connections, Jeremy Borden wrote in yesterday’s Daily Progress, in an effort to pay for the enormous costs associated with upgrading the system to deal with growth. The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority has taken the price of connecting to the water network up 62%, to $2,095, and the price of connecting to the sewer network up 82%, to $2,425. The total cost in Albemarle was $11,790 to hook a house up to the network, and now that’s $14,079. Homeowners’ alternative, installing a septic tank and drilling a well, isn’t a whole lot cheaper, and may well be substantially more expensive. And, of course, the alternative to the rate increase is to simply raise everybody’s property taxes, but that would hardly be fair.

25 thoughts on “Water, Sewer Fees Skyrocket”

  1. Are those numbers right for Albemarle? 14K (up from 12K) for water and sewer? That’s 3 or 4 times as much as C’ville. Wow.

  2. The increase isn’t going to affect most of us at all compared with energy and food costs. I’m not saying it’s a good thing just that having clean water delivered to my house and sewage taken away is cheaper than most things I have to pay for.

    Hey Waldo, tiny thing- move the comma over on the 1,4079- Actually I wish I could go back and fix my mistakes and miss spellings here- I make plenty.

  3. Thanks for that correction. I do intend to allow people to change their comments within X minutes of posting it — that seems like a useful enough thing to try it out — but it requires switching entirely the site template, something that I’m actively working on.

  4. CVille Eye is right. We ain’t seen nothing yet! Last July I bought a Frigidaire 12,000 btu air conditioning unit to use in my lower level. (I dislike central air conditioning with a passion, always too warm or too cool) It was $251.46, which included tax. This year Lowes has the same unit for $450.00 — $472.50 including tax.
    What caused me to notice this is I replace each window unit every second or third year, whether they need it or not. When I went to replace the unit in my daughter’s bedroom, 8,000 btu, it was $360.00, $100.00 more than the 12,000 btu model I purchased last year.
    When I questioned Lowes about the significant price increases this cooling season, they blamed it on diesel fuel and shipping. So I left and bought a 8,000 btu Samsung window unit with remote for $149. If it last two years I will be happy. Without paying Frigidaire the silly prices they now want.
    God help us when fuel prices get up to about $6.00 or $7.00 a gallon for diesel. We’ll be paying $10.00 for a 24 can case of soda.

  5. God help us when fuel prices get up to about $6.00 or $7.00 a gallon for diesel. We’ll be paying $10.00 for a 24 can case of soda.

    The good news may be that it’ll spur the development and acceptance of new technologies to ultimately lower the cost. Maybe $7/gallon is the price that diesel will have to get to for mass transit to become viable, for automakers to finally get serious about alternative energy, etc. Although maybe it’ll just teach people to stop drinking soda. :) NPR reported this week that one billion cans of Coca-Cola are consumed every day. That’s staggering.

  6. I’m with you Waldo…the higher the price of fuel, the better. Americans and American companies clearly won’t go green until pushed to do so. When we do decide to invest fully in new, non-planet killing energy sources, we will employ more people here at home and the world will be a much better, safer place (we’ll lose our obsession with the Middle East and years of bad foreign policy will be behind us). Of course, getting into a smaller car may be more difficult for us at this point, as those billion cans of Coke have helped fuel our obesity epidemic. If you are worried about the price of gas now, you ain’t seen nothing till you’re paying the health bill for this generation of the obese in ten or fifteen years. If a McDonald’s hamburger and a pack of cigarettes cost what they should, they would sell for twenty bucks each….to pay for the future health costs, which will truly bankrupt us….I’m talking fall of Rome here.

  7. I’m with you Waldo…the higher the price of fuel, the better.

    Well, I’m not quite saying that. :) But I do think that there’s a silver lining to this cloud that shouldn’t be ignored, for the reasons that you cite and others.

  8. Maybe I used a poor example for people like Cynic. Let’s just say the price of fuel will cause everything in Rebecca’s Natural Foods to double in price. Last week I promised my daughter and wife I would never step inside Giant, Food Lion, or Kroger with them again. I almost had a heart attack at the cash register when checking out. And if you’re paying $250 a month to heat your home now, expect it to be at least 50% to 75% higher next winter possibly. And have you seen the price of the 12 pak/12 ounce bottles of V-8 juice at Sam’s Club lately? $32.00 a case now. When fuel gets to $6.00 or $7.00 a gallon I suspect it will be $45.00 a case. Many people fail to realize higher fuel prices affect us all, no matter what we drink or drive.

  9. Demopublican, the water and sewer rates are going up in order to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars the O’Connell-Mueller-Tucker-Fern-Gaffney (developer) Authority has proposed to spend on water and sewer lines and services.

  10. To continue along those lines, Demopublican, what the increase in fuel prices is doing is putting local foods on economic par with foods trucked in from around the country. So while the price of food is climbing at Kroger and Food Lion, it’s (comparatively) dropping at C’ville Market and the farmers’ market. That’s great news for local farmers.

  11. You’re right, Waldo. I lived in Central America for a while, and the costs of imported goods were always outrageously high. Local goods were much cheaper. Gas, by the way, even many years ago, was more expensive there then than it is here now.

  12. Try this one on for size. I just called Robertson Electric to schedule a simple electrical repair in my home. I am not vaccinated for 240 volts unfortunately! The lady is rambling off how much it is going to cost me, which included a $10 fuel surcharge. No pay fuel surcharge, no get repairs. I could have bought 2 cases of Pepsi with that $10. Or 10 double cheeseburgers on the McDonalds dollar menu. There is a silver lining in this fuel crisis. I can lose a few pounds now!
    And since I am the recipient rather than the shipper 99.5% of the time, I would hate to see the fuel surcharge UPS is adding to their shipping rates now. Seems we pay for the fuel we use, and we now pay for the fuel those servicing us use as well.

  13. Demopublican, are you saying the increases in water and sewer charges (not costs) are due to rising gasoline prices and not the massive program of replacing all of the water and sewer gas lines, running new lines and building a massive dam at Ragged Mountain?

  14. The big meeting about the dam plan is tonight. More hints about the seemingly inexplicable positions of environmentalists and others are in the later posts to the old thread here:
    and in the new thread here:http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2008/06/01/hamilton-reject-pig-in-a-poke-water-scheme/

    Who woulda though Gary O’Connell was so compromised, assuming the posts are right? He is the professional city manager but also on semi-political boards like RWSA? That sounds wrong. Or is the RWSA non-political so it makes sense for the city to have high representation there? If so, this shows the weakness of that structure when groupthink and momentum take over. Email David Brown if you live in the city. He appears to be the swing tonight. Otherwise, prepare for concrete.

  15. Of course I messed up that second link:
    I don’t trust anybody fully on this issue, but the dam plan sounds crazy. Kevin Lynch’s latest stuff about reduced river flows in the publicly accessibly areas (Rivanna) vs. private fiefdoms (Mormons) sounds spot-on.

    Kendra Hamilton & Kevin Lynch really deserve kudos, but don’t think this thing is at all defeated. Chances are it will still happen.

  16. Rob Schilling just announced that Kevin Lynch and Kendra Hamilton will join him on the Schilling Show (WINA 1070 AM 1 – 2 PM week days) on Thursday. Too bad it’s not a two-hour show, they could spend some time talking about how they were manipulated through the years by Overrun O’Connell and his staff. Since they both spoke with him this weekend at home, it will probably deal with this issue.

  17. Cville’s a pretty successful city. Maybe you can elucidate his faults in detail.

  18. Fair successful for whom? I would say that very often he will not move off his position on things. I will leave it at that. I am sure others will chime in too.

  19. colfer, let me see if I can name one of his faults. I would like to know if Gary had anything to do with redesigning the Charlottesville Circuit Court parking lot within the last few weeks. Was there any input from the public? I hardly think so since there’s now 18 parking spaces for EMPLOYEES (Yes, 18!!!), 5 spaces for the general public, and 2 handicapped parking spots. The taxpayers take a back seat to the EMPLOYEES once again.

  20. Demopublican,

    Your list of complaints is really something to ponder: businesses passing on their costs to consumers and organizations providing parking for employees. I smell a conspiracy and wonder what sort of craziness they will think up next?

  21. Cynic, I’m not sure how to read you. Do you think a city courthouse should provide free parking for it’s employees while telling the public to kiss their butt? Does City Hall provide free parking for all it’s employees? Juvenile court? The various Albemarle courts? Even better yet, where do jurors park? They have to be there at 9:30 in the morning, and could very well be there all day long. They can’t run out and move their cars from one two hour parking zone to another all day long. Not to mention there is now only 5 two hour parking zones in the entire Circuit Court building lot. Where is Gary O’Connell when all this foolishness comes down the pike? Does he not have any control over anything going on in city government now?

  22. Gary O’Connell is still on top of things for HIS employees. He got council to agree last year to pay half of HIS employees’ parking everyday, if they park in the Water Street parking garage.

  23. You gotta have something better than parking. That FOIA’ed email sounds pretty bad.

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