Huge water bill stays in place as officials consider how to pay for repairs
The San Juan County Board of Supervisors voted 6-0 on Tuesday to pass an ordinance that forces the city, its mayor and several council members to pay thousands of dollars in water charges on their land, in addition to any costs they incur from unpaid fines.
The $744,000 “Water Law” also bans the collection of municipal water rates by non-profit agencies, and places them under the jurisdiction of the city of San Juan.
The legislation, which will be adopted by the Board of Supervisors on July 18, has become a major political flashpoint this week because the city was under a $14.5 million water bill on June 25 – a new record.
“We want people in this city to have the opportunity to continue living healthy lives, and to keep San Juan Bay beautiful,” said David Carver, the county’s water director, as he announced the city’s plans to buy new water shutoffs and pumps, as well as replace about 2,000 aging pipes.
He said some of the city’s estim바카라ated $19 million in water costs have been borne by homeowners, and that many are struggling with unpaid utility bills.
Water prices are rising in several states as demand from the burgeoning Internet and new sources of irrigation increase.
“The impact is being felt as far away as Miami,” said Susan O. Rahn, a spokeswoman for the Center for Watershed Sciences at George Washington University. “We need to figure out who pays the bills, and we need to do that in a way that isn’t too expensive to the average family.”
But the San Juan Bay Restoration District has insisted the $14.5 million is just one of many water bills incurred by homeowners of historic homes. Some say they will soon be on the hook.
“We’re seeing water bills from $15 to $20, sometimes even more,” said Mary Lynn Davenport, a spokeswoman for the District, about $8,600 to $9,200 a year for water that is not being used at the time, although she said some bills go up and down based on demand.
On Monday, San Juan councilwoman Sheryl Scolino, a Republican 바카라사이트who served as city administrator until being elected to her current post in June, said she believes the money being added to the costs of water is not as expensive as many people are making it out to be. She sa바카라사이트id the agency’s efforts to save mone