Water rate plan receives mixed reviews

A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked for commentary related to New Mexico American Water company’s plan to raise water rates. Some responses:

“IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER. The rates will be raised because the (Public Regulation) Commission will see the figures submitted and determine the company needs the raise to make money. We need the water and have no choice. What happens if they don’t get the increase? Can we allow them to go out of business? Hardly.”
— Jeff Greene, Clovis

“I FIND THEIR TIMING impeccable. First we announce a water crisis. Then they go for an 18.83 percent increase in rates. I guess I would be interested in seeing what the money would be used for before I pass judgment. If they are using the increase for water exploration or pipeline construction, both of which would ease the water shortage, I would say right on. If it is for lining their pockets because of shortages I would have a hard time condoning the increase. Don’t we have a similar problem with oil? I surely can live longer without oil than I can without water.”
— Jim Sitterly, Clovis

“PERSONALLY, I’D LIKE TO see detailed reasons for their rate increase request. I really think they make an adequate profit from the Clovis operations and should be required to invest capital monies from time to time. Additional wells are capital expense items, which give some tax writeoff. Just saying they need the money is not good enough. The notice sent out to all customers gives no reasons for the increases, just a new schedule of charges proposed.
“One has to question the wisdom of the city’s decision to not assume responsibility for the water utility when it was offered free by Southwest Public Service many years back. Just comparing the water costs to the consumer between Clovis and Portales shows that we would be paying less for water and that the water utility would be eligible for state and federal grant monies.”
— Bob Baker, Clovis
“I SUPPORT IT. WATER use is not an option, and if we are to continue to receive sufficient amounts of purified water, we must pay for the technology and personnel to deliver it.”
— Harold Burris, Clovis

“THE CLOVIS NEWS JOURNAL reported that residents of Portales pay considerably less than we do in Clovis for water, and Portales recently spent a considerable sum to purchase several sections of land for the purpose of securing the water rights. I understand we need to keep our infrastructure updated, but after the last round of rate increases, I have to wonder when enough is enough. I intend to voice a negative response to the utilities commission.”
— Frank Dalton, Clovis

“I BELIEVE THAT THE increase would be justified as the price of pipe has more than doubled in the past six months. All steel products have increased dramatically. Also the price of fuel has increased.”
— John Frey, Clovis

“IT’S COMICAL THAT NMAW will continue to price gouge Clovis residents and put all these water restrictions in place while the agriculture industry drains the aquifer dry. Every city resident in Clovis could shut off their water permanently and we’d still only save a drop of every gallon of water use. Let’s hope that the PRC denies this ludicrous request. Meanwhile NMAW is laughing at you. Where else are you going to get your water?”
— Richard Lopes, Clovis

“I HAVE NO PROBLEM with them raising the rates just so long as they’re justified.”
— Michael Williams, Clovis

“IT WILL SEVERELY HAMPER new construction and pass on increased costs to the consumer in higher costs of new homes. It seems NMAW is trying to raise rates in every way possible. NMAW should have to get an audit done or otherwise prove exactly what is needed, and why, so that any requirement for increased prices is based on current costs and only reasonable profit alone.”
— Carolyn Spence, Clovis

“I THINK THE COMPANY is using the lack of rain at the beginning of the month as an excuse to get more money. I am sorry to see this because Clovis is beautiful with all the green grass and trees and the wonderful flowers. Next year at this time everything will be brown because no one will be able to afford the water to have nice lawns and flowers.”
— Ardyth Elms

“I DON’T KNOW IF the increase is really necessary. I would like a better explanation about the service fee. What does it cover? … In short, I’m against the increase until more understandable explanations are presented.”
— Dan Toledo, Clovis