As my regular readers may know, I am starting a rehab project in my downtown building. I will be converting a formerly vacant 2nd floor apartment/retail space into two apartments. Everything looks fine on the permit front and the city is not imposing any excessively burdensome requirements on us. However, it seems we will have to pay up to $3,000 per unit to the water department. Now I already have water going into the building and up to the second floor, and of course I will be paying my water bills like everyone else. But this tax/fee is imposed, I'm told, to recoup the cost of the expansion of the water treatment plant.
Until now, it was my understanding that the recent water agreement between Racine and the outlying communities was such that Racine would be getting enough money from the other communities, and then some, such that Racine residents and businesses would not be paying the bill. And this makes sense because Racine's population is decreasing and presumably Racine's demand for water would likewise be decreasing. Thus the expansion was not for Racine's benefit but for the outlying areas that would be demanding more water. Therefore, they should pay for the water if they want it. Racine residents and businesses should not.
Why are Racine residents and business owners subsidizing the water bills of our wealthier suburban neighbors?