If you find yourself in a hole, Stop digging!
What would you do if you found yourself in a hole and the entity that helped get you there was handing you a shovel? Would you dig the hole deeper so as to make it impossible to get out or would you find a way out of the hole?
Let me explain: The Cleveland Water Department (CWD) and Mayor Tom Coyne are encouraging Brook Park City Council to shift from our current bad water service agreement (the hole) to an amended agreement with an additional three companion agreements (The hole we can never get out of).
Our current Water Service Agreement has some bad articles, I believe the proposed agreements make it worse! See an outline of some of them below for yourself or go to tomtroyer.com and you can see the all of the agreements in full.
ARTICLE 4 - Water Rates
4.01: CWD can increase rates from 75% to 100% higher than any rate increase in the City Cleveland for Brook Park residents during the first 10 years of the 20 year deal, after 10 years the sky is the limit and as I am writing this the meaning of Highway Robbery (HR) enters my mind! . . . . (first high 75%/ second high 100%/ third high 130%).
4.02-1: If Brook Park (BP) were to consider leaving the CWD they could then increase rates as high as they wanted, HR?
ARTICLES 2 and 3 - No Say In Increases
CWD can move you from first high to second high to third high at any time after 60 days notice, increasing your rates and we will have no guarantee of adequate pressure at our homes in these agreements, remember we can’t sue them under the amended agreements.
ARTICLE 5 - COVENANT NOT TO SUE ON WATER RATES; EXCLUSIVE FRANCHISE
5.O1: This positions BP and its residents in a “hole we can’t get out of” for 20 years! As the heading implies, We can not sue CWD if and when the rate increases raise to unaffordable highs.
ARTICLE 10 - INSTALLATION AND OWNERSHIP OF DISTRIBUTION MAINS
10.01: Under the new agreements we will be transferring all BP water mains (see asset transfer agreement) to the CWD, in turn the CWD “in its sole discretion” shall determine whether to schedule capital improvements to replace water mains in our city. According to the agreement an average of $10 million dollars per year toward system-wide capital improvements may be available. BP has no guarantee that we will receive any of it when we need it, because we will have to compete with other cities for the projects. In fact BP will have to apply to the CWD and get approved before a project can even start, and applications are only taken twice a year (first week of April and September). So CWD can just keep repairing the leaks and not replace the water main “in its sole discretion”!
10.04: “The cost of the above-referenced Capital Improvements will be included as part of the water rate on a system-wide basis.”
Wow, now that says it all! BP residents will be (and are) paying increased rates for all capital improvements system-wide even if no projects are completed in our city (HR)! Now let’s look closer at the money issue: If the city will no longer have to pay for the water mains, that could free-up monies in the budget right? Well yes! And that would be a good thing right? Yes, for our administration and Council but not for our residents! The current (little hole) agreement allowed the CWD to up-charge residents for something and then not be given anything in return, that’s wrong and never should have happened! In the proposed agreements (deep Hole) CWD will own the Water Mains and be responsible for repair/replacement “in its sole discretion”! Sounds great right? No! The proposed agreements will take the burden off the City and put the costs directly on the back of the residents in the form of much higher water bills, and remember the sky is the limit after 10 years (HR). Now let’s go back to the budget for a moment, if the new agreements are passed shouldn’t any freed up money go back to the residents since they are the ones now paying for the water main replacement?
ARTICLE 23 - TERM OF AGREEMENT
23.01: As mentioned above, the term of the proposed agreements is 20 years but that does not mean we can just end the agreement after 20 years because BP would no longer own the water mains! Under the agreements BP would have to pay for all the capital improvements CWD made on a pro-rata 100-year basis to get our water mains back. So as you can see there is no way out of these agreements “THE HOLE WE CAN NEVER GET OUT OF”!
MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT AGREEMENT
Section 7 - Income Tax Sharing For Moves Within The District
I have not even mentioned the anti-poaching part for these agreements: Well if a Company decides to move to BP from Cleveland, BP would have to pay Cleveland half of the income tax revenue generated by that Company for five years if the payroll was over $500k and vice versa. What does poaching have to do with the CWD! It is probably what you are thinking, as most people do when they find out about this.
Please go to my website tomtroyer.com and see for yourself, I don’t have the room to list everything.
Concerned resident & Councilman