by Sue Deyoe ~ October 12th, 2010
The Talkeetna Sewer and Water Board introduced a proposed resolution about 8 weeks ago that would change the way seasonal residents and businesses would be billed for service.
That change has raised the ire of seasonal residents, but not brought much interest from those that live in Talkeetna year round.
In past years, residents who left for the winter could shut off for the winter, for a charge that equaled the monthly rate. When they returned in the spring, they would pay a start-up charge. Meanwhile, through the winter they paid a nominal charge that was about 1/3 of the regular monthly fee.
The proposed change would allow a person, or business, to shut off and start up service for free each year, but they would keep paying the monthly bill.
The change has been questioned legally. For those that are on the seasonal plan, they see it as un-equitable as well.
At the last sewer and water board meeting, resident Kathy Stoltz, who is not on the system at all, brought forth a suggestion and plan. She and friend Pat Pratt, as seasoned accountants and business planners, will take a look at the rates across the board, the debts, and all customer rates and try and come up with a plan for the utility’s future. That plan would hopefully be equitable, as well as force the board to look at the financial future, and plan for mechanical failures and other problems that most likely will occur with the 20-some year-old system.
The Board votes on the proposed resolution and changes in seasonal shut off fees this Thursday at the Talkeetna Fire Hall. Stoltz said, as an alternate to the resolution, she plans to present the first phase of an overall plan at that meeting. The final decision, if the resolution is approved, is made by the Borough Assembly.