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Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Business owners concerned about utility rate increase

Dear Editor:

As business owners in Cassville, we are very concerned about the new proposed water rates. We discussed the proposed increase with one of the city aldermen. When we expressed concern that bills would more than double, he responded by saying "no one has said anything about the bills being doubled." The city has informed us that our bill will more than double under the new proposed rates.

For example, in August of this year, our business used 91,300 gallons of water, and our bill was $462.60. We contacted the City of Cassville and were informed that under the new proposed water and sewer rates our bill will increase from $462.60 to $1,194.08. The new bill would be more than double the current bill.

As a basis of comparison, we contacted the City of Monett. Using the 91,300 gallons of water as a comparison, our water and sewer bill would be $451.40. This is somewhat less than the existing water and sewer rates in Cassville.

There is no question that such a drastic increase as proposed by the city will have a major impact on residents and businesses within our community. We are all aware that businesses and individuals are struggling right now because of our economic recession. Such a rate increase will hamper businesses' ability to profit without raising prices and will decrease the amount of money that individuals will have to spend in the community. The only winner in this scenario is the city coffers.

While we understand that our city may need capital improvements with water and sewer infrastructure, we question the need to implement such a drastic overnight rate increase rather than phasing in graduate increases over a period of time.

We urge all concerned citizens to attend the public hearing to be held Nov. 3. at 6 p.m.

Sincerely,

Robert and Linda Precoda

America's Best Value Inn and Suites

Cassville, Missouri


Fire chief asks for support of 911 tax

Dear Editor:

Back when the Barry County 911 was being planned, the county commissioners proposed a tax rate that was inadequate to sustain a 911 dispatch center in Barry County. Now the 911 Center has to ask the taxpayers of Barry County to increase the tax rate an eighth of a cent just to sustain the level of service it now provides.

This additional revenue is necessary for 911's survival and would go to the building payment, upgrading and maintaining the phone and computer system and keeping salaries for dispatchers on par with other 911 centers in the region. No one wants to get into a situation where an emergency call in our county is delayed or not answered because of limited staffing.

Please support this tax increase on Nov. 8. Voters are encouraged to attend a meeting to hear about the financial challenges the 911 center is under and the impact this vote means for the citizens and the 911 center at the Eagle Rock Fire Station at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Thank you,

Steve Gash

Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano Fire Protection District chief