By DORIE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
June 11, 2013
NEW MINIMUM USAGE UTILITY RATES 07/01/13 $107.92.
So reads the message at the bottom of this month’s utility bill sent to every household and business in the Town of Cape Charles.
Technically, the message jumps the gun, because Town Council has not yet voted for the increase or even held the required public hearing.
But Town staff and elected officials have made clear that the rate increase is a foregone conclusion.
Meanwhile, an analysis by the Wave finds that the increase continues a years-long pattern of hiding the true cost to Town residents of sewage treatment.
The Wave analysis further reveals that Town Council and staff manipulated utility billing in the run-up to the 2012 Town elections, spending Town reserves to avoid increasing utility bills in an election year.
Finally, Town records disclose a disturbing pattern of cutting utility connection charges even as the Town planned an expensive new sewage treatment plant. In addition, the Town miscalculated badly in assuming that the new treatment plant would be partially paid by the developers of Bay Creek. [Read more…]