City utility policy is all wet

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I have read in The Augusta Chronicle about Augusta Commission votes on a forensic audit. Those attempts are misguided. The government department most in need of investigation must surely be the Augusta Utilities Department.

Our recent move outside Richmond County lines was accompanied by a great sigh of relief at not being subjected to the arbitrary, confiscatory rates of this dysfunctional department. For 13 years, our water bills have skyrocketed in the winter months. Even on occasions when we were out of town for three of the four weeks in the billing cycle, I could count on at least one month’s bill reflecting usage of double or more our monthly norm.

Why? Well, those are the months when water consumption determines sewer bills for the whole year. Any calls to protest the illogic of January’s bill exceeding July’s (July – when we are in town and do occasionally water the azaleas) were met with blank, bureaucratic indifference. We spent hundreds of dollars on plumbers who checked under the house and in the walls, finding no leaks.

The customer-oriented folks at AUD got in one last, outstanding bit of service (in the “agricultural” sense of the term). Our final bill recently showed up, and is a model of AUD charm and efficiency. It was more than two months after our move and did not show a meter-read date or reading, or in any other way justify AUD’s contention that we owed them an elevated amount for service at an address where we did no watering and, in fact, did not live for a week or two of the billing period.

They don’t have to prove that we did use the water; we would somehow have to prove that we did not – logic not being a prized faculty in the AUD.

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omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 06/10/12 - 02:18 am
2
0
also the assessors office

also the assessors office maybe? i dont see how a house selling below some county determined "market rate" doesn't affect surrounding home values (county assessed) negatively.

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 06/10/12 - 07:31 am
0
0
AUD
Unpublished

Good letter, Mr. Shaffer. Too bad it won't change anything.

gcap
290
Points
gcap 06/10/12 - 10:44 am
2
0
You moved...

...in frustration. And you're one family among thousands. In consolidation Richmond County baled out the City of Augusta. What are the incompetents to do next when so few earners remain and so few taxes are paid? Such incompetence will not survive.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 06/10/12 - 12:44 pm
1
0
But...
Unpublished

You guys got a Costco...and the Village at Riverwatch and the Starbucks is coming...and compared to other cities your crime rate is zero...why complain about your taxes and water bills...everything is rosy in ARC!!!

allhans
23998
Points
allhans 06/10/12 - 02:44 pm
1
0
I had one of the old, old

I had one of the old, old meters and all the numbers were rusted over. It was not possible! for it to be read. Yet, I kept getting bills showing 5000- 7000 gals a month.
It took a while but for the last year I have had a new meter (one of the electronic devices) and my billl is always reasonable.

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/10/12 - 06:02 pm
2
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County residents subsidize August City residents

In consolidation Richmond County baled out the City of Augusta and even today the County residents are subsidizing what were old August City residents. IMO it is time to make EVERYONE in Augusta/Richmond County start paying the same amount for the same water/sewage and solid waste service.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 06/10/12 - 09:19 pm
1
0
And!!
Unpublished

If county residents were told the city was bankrupt they would have never voted for consolidation. I think it should have been disallowed anyway. You can't have a business merger if one side is cooking the books. Why was this different? Forced trash service, unfair property tax rates only on those that live in the old county and unfair water and sewage rates. Terrible police response for south augustans. Who would wanna live in the County now?

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