Why are water rates going up?

Published 8:15 am Sunday, February 24, 2013

On Jan. 26, the Albert Lea City Council, as reported in the Albert Lea Tribune, at a special meeting reviewed last year’s (2012) results. There was nothing about pending business or businesses locating in Albert Lea. Nothing, zip, nada.

Mayor Vern Rasmussen, City Manager Chad Adams addressed the financial condition of the city and 2013 goals, nothing about money or funds held in escrow, land or allocations to new businesses for development. Usually there are funds, land and buildings earmarked for future development. Again, no mention was made for development.

The Albert Lea Fire Department was restored to full-time, five-person crews. Adams, soon after he was hired as city manager, hired a Florida firm for $80,000 to tell him what was already known. George Marin, during his Third Ward campaign, answered a question, (Albert Lea Tribune) “Where could city expenses be cut?” The answer: eliminate hiring consultants to tell you what you already know.

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Good news. The general fund is expecting a surplus. Does that mean residents can expect lower taxes?

Bad news. Water rates will be significantly increased. Rates are already too high. During the 2012 summer drought, residents did not water their lawns, bushes, trees, etc. Probably because of high water rates? I believe, the high rates were explained, during the time Mrs. Gerry’s wanted to expand their business and considered Lake Mills, Iowa. High water users in the industrial section of Albert Lea received a break. Yup, you guessed it, lower water rates. Guess again, who is paying for this? Right again, Albert Lea property owners.

Mayor Rasmussen, City Manager Adams, reconsider raising city water rates. Thank you.


Robert Mares

Albert Lea