Large Capacity Accounts for Low Farifax Water Rates
In his guest commentary of January 5, “Falls Church Should Let the Water Business Go,” Mr. Maller uses incorrect assumptions to reach flawed conclusions regarding Fairfax Water’s wholesale customer contracts. As a non-profit public water authority, Fairfax Water is mandated by law to charge only for the actual cost of providing water service to our retail and wholesale customers, and that’s what we do.
Because our production capacity is so large, with independent, state-of-the-art water treatment plants on the Potomac River and Occoquan Reservoir, our unit cost to produce water is very low. Our wholesale and retail customers share equally in the benefits derived from our economies of scale. Our wholesale customers do not pay for the cost of distributing water to Fairfax County residents. The wholesale customers pay only their fair share of the cost of producing and transmitting water to their own systems. This is why Fairfax Water’s retail commodity rate is so low and why most of our wholesale customers have the next lowest water rates in the entire the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Wholesale customers do not subsidize Fairfax Water’s retail customers. Our books are open and are reviewed and audited by our wholesale customers. They send their own representatives to our Board meetings. Our wholesale customers have never once suggested that their rates subsidize Fairfax Water’s retail customers. They know that Mr. Maller’s assumption is wrong.
The bottom line is that wholesale customers end up paying their fair share of costs that match the volume of water they use. Fairfax Water is in essence a CO-OP that provides equal benefits to all of its members.
Philip W. Allin
Chairman, Fairfax Water Authority
Accuses F.C. Of ‘Predatory’ Water Rates
As a Falls Church Water user, I pay 60% more for water than others in Fairfax county. If Falls Church residents were forced to pay $5.44 per gal for gasoline, instead of $3.40, they would scream. Yet more than 90% of the F.C. Water users have no say or vote in water rates – only the “Little City” 8% of users set the predatory monopoly rates. When F.C. complains about “competition” for water service in Fairfax, why anyone want to pay 60% more? Dan Maller’s recent article in the FCNP reveals that large developers get charged millions LESS, thus making retail water users subsidize the big developers. So the 90% of users outside of F.C. subsidize F.C. low-balling. Just like J.D. Rockefeller’s predatory monopolistic methods.
According to the Washington Post (10-3-11), F.C. Water has overcharged some $58 million over the years, draining money that could and should have been used to pay off capital expenses and water bonds. So non-F.C. users are being forced to pay even more to refill the drained capital reserve account. Rates are scheduled to keep rising.
Whether F.C. Water is corrupt, mismanaged, or incompetent, there is no excuse for Soviet-style predatory pricing with no, zero, accountability to the voters who are 90% of F.C. users. F.C. Water must charge non-F.C. users the same as Fairfax or sell that portion of the system to Fairfax, less the $58 million it has transferred out. F.C. Water can charge F.C. users whatever their elected officials dare and, perhaps, solve their problems of management, competence, and/or corruption that makes their rates totally out of line.
All of the more than 100,000 Fairfax victims of F.C. Water support the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors protecting Fairfax users from F.C. gouging, predatory pricing, and subsidies for big developers. We hope they use every legal tool available to force F.C. to charge honest rates or sell the system to Fairfax County Water, the nation’s most honest, efficient, and competent water system.
Why Does Special ‘Service Charge’ Appear on Bills?
The controversy over who supplies water to county residents might be less stimulative if the Falls Church City Manager were more truthful toward county residents.
County residents using Falls Church water note on each of their quarterly bills the charge listed as “Serv Chg County Res 5/8”.
So, Mr. Editor and Mr. City Manager, pray tell why county residents appear to have a special charge, if indeed all customers are charged the same “rate”.
I might also point out that another charge is listed as, “Sever Base FFX CNTY $5.00” on each billing. Appears to be different again.
Charges FCNP Water Coverage is Unbalanced
Regarding Jan 5 edition lead story, “Challenges from Big Next Door Neighbor” — you couldn’t have written a less objective/balanced article if you’d intended it to be an advocacy editorial or a broadside to elicit citizen support for Falls Church’s position in the ongoing — and self-inflicted — battle between City and County. “Severe political and legal offensive from its oversized neighbor”? “Power grab”? I could go on, but why bother? Your “Platform” — specifically item 3, “Do not let the news columns reflect editorial comment” is a farce. As an alleged news article, in the long article, among the many assertions of “Little” City victimization, might you have quoted one response from Fairfax County? I guess not, because that would be a hint of balanced and objective journalism — hardly FCNP style. Instead of pandering to what you think readers believe and want to read, why not separate news reporting from advocacy? That would make your news and editorials more credible.
Another FCNP misfire, Helen Thomas’s column: President Roosevelt didn’t “pass” the Social Security Act. Congress passes legislation and presidents sign (or veto) legislation. But good work, a column not finding something to blame Israel for.
Hopes for ‘Arab Spring’ in U.S. to Oust Obama
Nick Benton’s commentary on the GOP nomination process underscores the Left’s detachment from reality.
Benton condemns candidate Rick Santorum for the “radical extremism of his views on abortion and homosexual rights.” Santorum’s view on homosexual marriage is the same as President Obama’s and as for abortion; Santorum’s position is the same as nearly half of the nation. To the Left “extreme” is anything they disagree with.
For real extremism, look no further than President Obama. Consider his unconstitutional health care plan imposed over the strong objections of the American people. Then there was the illegal war on Libya, actually on Khadafi.
More recently there are his “recess appointments” made while Congress was not in recess, a step two former top Justice Department officials branded in the Washington Post as “unconstitutional” and a “breathtaking violation of the separation of powers.” Belying the claim that this was necessary to overcome political obstructionism, Obama made the announcement at a campaign event.
Even David Brooks, a liberal writer carried by the News-Press, expressed surprise that Obama was more liberal than he had expected.
While disregarding the Constitution, throw in Obama’s corruption of rewarding contributors with taxpayer dollars – billions to Solyndra, Fisker and the UAW – and we have all the making of a South American dictatorship.
As for Benton’s concern about being “Wall Street-backed”, Obama remains the top beneficiary of Wall Street dollars.
Much has been made of the Arab Spring. Hopefully we can have an American Fall and depose our dictator.
Letters to the Editor may be submitted to [email protected] or via our online form here. Letters should be limited to 350 words and may be edited for content, clarity and length. To view the FCNP’s letter and submission policy, please click here.