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home : opinion : opinion July 10, 2014

2/22/2013 6:00:00 AM
Kingman letters: Sewer rate hard to swallow

I moved to Arizona in 2004 and lived in Lake Havasu City. When I decided to buy a home, I felt the utilities were too high there, so in 2008 I bought a home in Kingman. Living on a fixed income, one becomes very conservative on utilities. I don't waste water. I use CFL bulbs and my thermostat is around 65. I feel that trash pick-up should be only once a week.

I wrote to the city and received a nice letter back, stating that the city must abide by the state code (R18-13-308), which calls for collection twice per week.

How come other cities, such as Lake Havasu City, pick up only once per week? Did they change the law? Can't Kingman do that?

And now the sewer rates have soared. My first couple of years here, the sewer rate was around $20 each month. Then in 2010, it was about $30. In April last year, it went up to $50. Now, nine months later, we are at $65 per month. Happy New Year!

Are these costs going to lower when these loans are paid back? Surely the city can do better than this.

Maybe I'm the only one upset by this huge increase. But when you live paycheck to paycheck, as many of we seniors do, it's a hard pill to swallow.

Barbara Smith


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Article comment by: REDUCE REDUCE REDUCE Any thoughts on that City Council and Mayor???

The City’s answer to budget issues always results in picking the public’s pocket. How shameful is that during this economy? The water/sewer fiasco is what pushed us to move out of the city limits.

Increasing sales tax just because the State’s 1% sunsets isn’t creative budgeting or solving your own problem. Learn to solve your issues by cutting FIRST. How about implementing furloughs for your employees if it is that bad? It's better to inconvenience a few than inconvenience the masses. Paying salaries, taxes, and benefits is a huge strain on the budget. They will still have a job and benefits.

I can’t vote for city government anymore, but I will continue to eat out of town and buy many groceries at Sam’s Club just to prove a point. That’s my vote, and I’m sticking to it.

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Article comment by: Before Criticizing School, Volunteer and Get a Real Education

Hi, Think Tank. you have to realize Justanobody, Sr is just spouting off the philosophy of Fox, Rush, and the Tea Baggers. Instead of him/her volunteering all that time they have being retired in the schools seeing first hand what an excellent school system we have in KUSD he/she sits in front of the boob tube osmosising (please allow me to generate such a verb) right wing rhetoric.

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Article comment by: Now, Now Let's Be Accurate - Tax Dems so Reps Can Spend

justanobody, much of what your rant says is true however you parroting the tax and spend phrase. Try to be more accurate - the correct phrase is Tax Dems for the Spending Reps. Look at where the spending always seems to take place - Reagan and GW oversaw the biggest spending in our history. And heck let's not look to far the spending here is all under Republicans.

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Article comment by: Taxpayers Tired of Paying for Two School System in Kingman

Justnobody, you and everyone of us benefit greatly from each educated productive young person who pays back our society.

Now to explain why you're paying so much for education here. You and I (I'm a childless, retired senior) and the rest of the taxpayers are paying for 2 school systems - one the public KUSD and the other a selected, members only club called KAOL.

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Article comment by: The Rest of the Story

The problem (and its one of the dirty little secrets the manager and council members don't want to talk about) is the city had to comply with the state's requirements to build a new sewage treatment plant yet MADE NO ATTEMPT TO EXPAND THE SEWER SYSTEM CUSTOMER BASE. Annexation - we can't possibly have all that "trash" in Butler, or other areas included in the city. We can't possible allow ourselves to have to provide police and fire protection to those areas not in the city. We can't possibly take it upon ourselves to accept these areas where the county has allowed undersized water lines and septic systems. It would just cost too much. And for us in the city with septic systems and no huge sewer bills (applies to most if not all the council) it's true - we just can't afford annexation. This council and to a larger degree the Byram council refuse to extend the sewer lines to bring in more customers.

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Article comment by: insane sewer and water rates!!

I agree with those that say Kingman's water and sewer rates are ridiculously high. Since our house is worth (according to my latest tax notice from the assessors office) less than half of what we owe on it and I can't afford to pay the high cost of the utilities, we have nothing compelling us to stay in this house or the city.

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: leaving kingman

where's my thumbs up like button for Rick O'Shea?!!!

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: Moved Out of the City

I have a friend who has not lived in her Kingman home for years as she moved to Bullhead to care for her mother. Her water/sewer/trash is over $60 a month WITHOUT usage.

In my opinion my friend should disconnect her utilities, but I was using her as an example of the outrageous cost of these utilities in Kingman.

I spoke to Janet Watson personally on this issue, and I got nowhere. Surprised?? She claimed she was told the increase wouldn't affect bills that much. That was 2 increases ago. I wonder what she says now?

The cost of these utilities in Kingman is a damn shame!

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: Think Tank

justanobody sr, The bigger problem is we don't spend enough on our education here in Arizona. Our teachers are amongst the lowest paid in the nation and our students have to deal outdated text books and breaking down schools. You may say it doesn't benefit you but as Anson's has already pointed out you went to school and didn't have to pay for it. You mention it doesn't seem anyone is getting anything out of schools these days. My answer to that is because we don't value education in this state.

pl, How is the school system "brainwashing" anyone? Give me concrete examples of how schools brainwash anyone. What is it that is taught in schools that is so controversial that it is not in line with what you and other conservatives "know and believe". I am a Catholic and I can tell you no one ever had a problem with me praying at lunch time or believing in God. Heck, we had whole Christian clubs at the school. So it can't be religion. What can it be? If you think they are trying to turn the children into Communists or Marxists or whatever I would like to point out to you that any overtaking of a people from the inside by a radical group always starts with cutting education to the point of nonexistence. If the people can't think for themselves then they are easier to take over. Let me ask you, which political party is it that always wants education to be cut? Which party is it that refuses to compromise or accept anyone else's views? Hmm, modern day Republicans (especially Tea Partiers) sound like they are planning a radical takeover if you look at it that way.
WC 2

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Article comment by: justanobody sr

someone has to be concerned , as all you do is bad mouth everyone,
your "better than you" know it all, attitude!
I don't mind paying my fair share, but 65%??? I guess you have no problem with it, so please feel free to contribute more! ( never happen)
mean while you continue to act like the tax and spend dem, ( the ones who got us into this mess!)

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Sally Bird

Wether you are on a fixed income or not, it is ludicrous and villianous for the City Management to expect people to pay for a city that has gone in or through a decline.

If the City Management would get it together and bring businesses into this comunity that could not only lessen the fees to individuals but provide jobs so individuals could pay these fees, there would be a better outcome.

I don't mean small businesses but some kind of industry that would employ hundreds instead of fifty. Businesses big enough to pay more then minimum wage and would offer benefits. Businesses of this size could support the utility facitlities that are bringing such large increases to the indiviuals bills.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Once again...I still can't understand the high sewer rates mention by multiple posters...most saying they are on "fixed incomes" which would indicate retired folks.

My household is active with 2, sometimes 3 showers a day. Average 1 load of laundry a day and dishwasher loads every other day. Typical toilet and general faucet usage.

Our latest sewer bill was about $49 as I remember (already paid and shredded). My total bill was around $94. A bit higher than last year...but less than 10%.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

@AN.....they have to recoup the $5 million in school bond money which was left invested at Lehman Brothers until the very day it went bankrupt (true). And I agree with a citizen who owns a home which will be seized if he doesn't pay taxes - to support a school system which brainwashes young people in beliefs contrary to what we know and believe. That comment may be better explained in a considerably longer [posting.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“I do not have children here, never have had, never will, why do I have to pay almost 2/3 of my tax bill for school fee's.”

Yeah! ‘Cause when you went to school you paid your own way from kindergarten right on through grade 12! No one else paid a penny for YOUR education. What a sad comment.

“… when I feel they are not used properly…”

What is it with the righties all of a sudden having “feelings” about things?

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Keep on Preaching

Keep on preaching! I too have noticed that my bill continues to grow each month. My water usage remains the same, around $20 per month but my bill never drops below $100/month! This is absolutely ridiculous! I understand the city needs to pay for this new sewage treatment plant, but why is over half my bill paying for it? There has to be some other way to pay for it then making the citizens suffer!

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: justanobody sr

I agree the sewer rates are absurd,
In reviewing my tax bill, I see 65% of MY tax bill goes to school related issues.
I do not have children here, never have had, never will, why do I have to pay almost 2/3 of my tax bill for school fee's.
when I feel they are not used properly, and are wasted .
my tax bill is $715 per yr, so I pay close to $465 for something I receive NO benefit from! and to look at the youth of today, it seems NO ONE is getting anything from schools now days.

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Kris F

No Barbara, you are not alone. I moved from the county and bought a house in the city only to notice that all the utilities are much more expensive - a little too late now. Was expecting a minor cost difference but wow, was I totally wrong about that. The city just doesn't want anyone to live, everything has gone up - I do not understand why we are all taxed so much and barely getting by as it is. Can someone help me understand this?

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

Well Mrs. Smith, you have Mayor Salem and the Kingman city council to thank for the sewer rates, they are the winners of the "Golden Sewer Award" for the last 5 years. If you remember, it was Salem's brain child idea to not find a means of financing the new sewer project but have the customers pay off the loan now. We later found out that the old sewer plant was not going to be replaced but upgraded and even more money was added to the bill. Not too long ago it was brought to light that two slush funds have been created with some of the money. How he was re-elected I have no idea but it's time to start shopping outside Mohave county for the next mayor.

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