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Water Plant $16 Million Loan Request Approved in Stealth

Roswell City Council approved the loan request for a new water plant.

"While you were watching the debate Monday night, Roswell voted without your input to drop $16.1 million more debt on the shoulders of their water customers, oh and this has nothing to do with the other $14.7 they want from you on Nov. 6.

Are Roswell’s water customers ready to shoulder almost $30 million in less than two weeks from the Roswell Government?"

Here are the basic facts:

No cost analysis has ever been performed by the City or any City contractors to determine how the new loan for this water plant will be repaid.  Having requested ROI analysis since the Water System Master Plan was issued in July 2010, I can tell you that none Exists.

No one from the City has visited a single operating water plant designed by the outside consultants to verify operating cost estimates.

The $900,000 annual cost of the bond on this plant is, according to the City, is going to be repaid by undocumented cost decreases and only $72,000 per year in additional revenue from current water customers. The numbers don't add up.

Roswell currently charges 22 percent-150 percent more for residential customers than Fulton County.

Even though the City used the 2010 Comprehensive Governors Water Taskforce report to justify this unnecessary project, they chose to completely ignore 2 of the 3 funding sources recommended by the Taskforce.

The City has not conducted, or even attempted to conduct, a single meeting with Atlanta-Fulton County Water Authority to negotiate a long term water deal to eliminate the need for a new plant.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

janet h russell October 24, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Yes, I was one of only a few citizens who were aware of this item on the agenda. And I knew before hand that the date was chosen because it coincided with the debates. That reasoning was confirmed when upon opening the meeting, Mayor Wood informed us that he knew we all wanted to go home to watch the debates and that they would make it quick. But not quick enough to miss receiving an environmental award with appropriate photo op of council and mayor. Then on to Kay Love and Steve Stroud congratulating the city on the Vision workshops for the last year and their new branding. I especially loved the "core values" which mentioned Trust and respect. Of course, all council members chimed in on what a great job they had done with this project etc, etc. Of course, their remarks were all televised for your benefit. Then on to the meat of the evening. And after 3 rehearsed questions from Mayor to Public works director who gave well rehearsed answers, the Mayor requested a motion. NOT ONE councilperson made a comment, an amendment a remark. Absolute silence ( a rarity of not one word from one city council woman). Open for remarks I got 5 mins. The Mayor didn't like it that I was taking up their precious time with such irrelevant questions like How many of you get your water from the City? To that answer - only 1. Out of 9 - only 1 will be affected by this unilateral decision to create 16.2 million dollars of debt for approx. 12,000 people. And we had no say in this decision.
janet h russell October 24, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Part 2 The City has doubled the cost of this project from 8 milliion to 16 million in 5 years. Kay Love said "they added some things". Well they sure did. 8 million things and they are 8 million $1 bills. I have been told that there were information meetings. Yes, there were meetings with easels with drawings which led the average citizen to think it had already been approved but the designs. There were NO Q&A sessions at these open sessions. Work sessions may be open but who knows about them? Roswell spokesperson says we got a notice in our water bill about the meeting. NOT TRUE. I remind people in this city that when you tell a lie remember who you told it to because chances are someone else will have heard a different lie and challenge both of them. Approx. 350,000 residents of North Fulton get their water from Fulton county, why is the city making 12,000 residents get their water from the City at higher rates to the tune of 16.2 million dollars? Do you think political posturing had anything to do with this? I do and I don't want to pay for their politicing. By the way I am not against taxes and I am not a member of the Tea Party (but 3 members of council are outspoken supporters of the Tea Party) . And everyone on Council voted for this water bill. I guess it only matters to be vocal about the Tea Party when it is politically expedient. Check your water bill. Most people don't even know from whom they receive it. But you will soon enough .
Jake Lilley October 26, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Janet, Lee, you are both right on the money. Thank you so much for speaking out on this issue! Our city council spends money like a teenager with daddy's $30 MILLION credit card! OUT OF CONTROL! But like you said, so far as Council is concerned, the water plant is something that can be paid for by just a handful of residents. So I guess they played the odds and are betting that their latest spending spree will go unnoticed when voters go to the polls to decide whether to approve the $14.7 MILLION bond to pay for the rest of the project wish list!
janet h russell October 26, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Jake, I am not against our City government spending money when it benefits the residents (all of them) of our city. But I have spoken to many people who live in the City provided water district and they are simply stunned that the city council would make this unilateral decision to impose a debt on them without their consent. It is not a tax (as the city emphasizes) so of course we cannot deduct it from our own taxes. It is going to be attached to our water bill and no one has given me a straight answer. If you lie, have a good memory. You have to remember what you told to whom because it will eventually come around to bite you.
Lee Fleck October 26, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Councilman Igleheart's only concern was a "BLUFF". Helium ballons & a chunk of dirt, have we lost are way of what?
janet h russell October 26, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Depends on who you talk to what the reason for the "slam dunk" approval on Monday night. They need to get their stories straight . A good memory is a requisite if you are going to lie.
Lee Fleck October 29, 2012 at 04:34 PM
On December 11, 2012 the Water Plant engineering design will on the agenda at the Public Works Committee meeting which begins at 5 p.m.
Martin Howell November 02, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Last Monday was indeed a sad night for the City of Roswell. Our only City Council member who doesn't belong to the Rotary Club (the actual people who run Roswell) has given up any element of fiscal responsibility and courage he exhibited during the Groveway debacle (read giveaway to developers at your expense) and has sold out to big government and wasteful spending. He knows, as all involved do, that this project is entirely unneccesary and has absolutely zero return on investment. Why vote for it then Ken? City Council? Czar Wood?
Martin Howell November 02, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Correction - Kent, not Ken. Sorry.
janet h russell November 02, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Martin, Interesting to me that you mentioned the Rotary Club. I wondered why a City Council meeting was changed from the scheduled Monday to later in the week and then I found out there was a special Rotary meeting that Monday night. I wasn't aware that the City could just change a Council meeting because of a private club's event. But of course, they were all attending. Which brings me to the Rotary's idea of the " America's Walk of Valor" on the City Hall Grounds. They want to relocate The Faces of War Memorial to make room for 8 monuments to 8 wars so that the City Hall grounds become an homage to war. So I ask which wars: war on drugs, war on women, war on Poverty? And who determines the war, the theme of each monument etc? But prominently displayed will be that this series of monuments was organized by The Rotary. I believe the property that the Faces of War Memorial stands upon was donated in perpetuity by the City to that monument. I worked on the Faces of War Memorial project and seem to recall that stipulation. The monument was never about the war but about those who endured: Americans of all races, Vietnamese - both military and civilians. I have no personal beef with The Rotary. They have accomplised many, very positive actions around the world. But I do see a strong influence of the City Government's officials by The Roswell Rotary.

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