He said if the plan in 2004 went through to expand the water system, without the state of New York blocking them, residents would have seen no rate increases over the past five years. And, no increase this year.We have yet to see a financial analysis that supports Mr. Becher's conclusion. But assuming that Mr. Becher is correct, Greater Utica residents will be paying more for a water expansion in other ways.
(1) They will be paying for the pipeline to Verona and Turning Stone because those entities will get to write off their costs for the pipeline against their water bills.An interesting number that is not revealed by Mr. Becher is the cost of MVWA's litigation thus far that it is passing on to the rate payers. What is the impact of the litigation on the water rate?
(2) They will be subsidizing water service extension into the "ex"- urbs ... beyond the suburbs and beyond the service area contemplated when MVWA was created, encouraging sprawl, encouraging more people and businesses to leave Utica and Rome, resulting in increased taxes in the places left behind and new taxes to support demands for services in newly-developed areas.
(3) They will be giving up their water supply to places that have alternative supplies available, limiting the potential of the entire Greater Utica area for future growth.
It's not surprising that no one voiced objection to MVWA's proposed increase. MVWA has never demonstrated an interest in listening.