"I am prepared to present over 100,000 pages of scientific data, 100s of engineering studies and 1000s of technical memos all of which refute the viability of the SDS as proposed. I can also provide detailed engineering analysis from several of the worlds largest developers and providers of renewable energy to support the economic viability of developing a water project in eastern Fremont County that can provide more firm storage, greater systemwide reliability, at significantly lower expense, along with a revenue stream that pays for the project.
Step up or shut up
Then do it. You have a general board discussion every single month as well as multiple council meetings. Bring this information public, present it to utilities, use your authority and force them to consider these cheaper, self-funding, alternatives. I've not seen it done yet, so I'll continue to wait for it.
You state, "What is in place now is a systemic practice founded in fraudulent accounting practices." Then why isn't any one being indicted? You sit on the board and allow it to happen and then whine when things aren't going your way. You call the SEC yourself if it's "fraud like Enron but on a smaller scale."
You were willing to talk with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Secretary of the Interior or whatever. I've seen you in the paper, I know you're not afraid to speak out in public. What holds you back from making these changes?
Help this community move forward into the future, instead of whining about the past. You are in more of a position to fix these things than any other but those 8 other members of council. If something is fraud, then report it to the authorities. If there are cheaper alternatives to SDS then get that information in the public. Ask the local or national news to run a side-by-side comparison of your alternatives and the SDS project.
I don't know what they are, I've never seen them, I don't know if these alternatives you are talking about even exist, let alone if they are better. You stated at the board meeting you received an email from a single mom who pays $400 a month for health care premiums while walmart doesn't have premiums exceeding $218. I can't fault you for believing her, but I can fault you for not researching. That took me about 30 seconds. All I know is that SDS is better than nothing for this community's future, and if it's between the two, I'd rather have a community in the future.
I'm not going to debate you, I don't need to. It would be fruitless and wouldn't change what has already been done. Nobody would notice, and neither of us would likely change our minds. What I need you, and those 8 other people who sit on city council, to do is to look at these alternatives, make sure that I, a citizen, am not getting screwed over and that my best interests are being looked out for. What I see you doing now is simply going after the utility company. I couldn't care less about them, but I do care about the truth.
I can see most of the facts for myself, but I don't get all the information, I don't have any inside information, just what is published. From that, I can see when utilities is lower or higher than market on gas prices, and why they might need to do a refund for the GCA. I could see that they just got a new forecast from Colorado Interstate Gas on the forecasted prices of gas and found it necessary to refund more than anticipated. And I was able to see that of the two alternatives they presented, Fremont County and SDS, SDS seemed more logical and cheaper. I don't know what else they looked at, I expect them to look at all the options, and it sounds like you had even more options, studies, impacts, engineering, developers, etc. If those weren't considered, then why is nobody looking for a new job.
You shouldn't need the support of your peers on council to report fraud or to present studies on alternatives. Why haven't you done it already? Why would you rather rant impotently at some anonymous troll on the internet than take action to make this a better community. I've seen what you are willing to do when you are passionate, use that fire and help make this a better place instead of arguing with an idiot like me.
I don't see how anybody could read or believe this garbage.
How does Tom Gallagher, who sits on the board of utilities not know that there were 4 months in 2009 where gas was under collected. Instead he spews lies saying it's been in a perpetual state of over collection for 2 years. What about before that time Tom? How often was it in a state of under collection and no interest charged to customers. Gas is a volatile market. I for one am happy that I see Colorado Springs Utilities do all it can to decrease that volatility so that I don't have a dramatic swing in my bill.
So you, Tom Gallagher, try to stop SDS and destroy this community's future, well, after your boys couldn't get a sweetheart deal on a quarry, now you want me, a ratepayer and citizen of Colorado Springs to have a bill that I'll never know where it lands because of a volatile gas market.
NO THANK YOU!
I watched the meeting, there was an overcollection, then a GCA refund to make up for that. Utilities just got new information that the gas rates would drop even more so they proactively are creating a refund to avoid further over collection. How hard is that to understand.
You and your buddy Pam, and whoever else might listen to your retard logic that looks to screw over the citizens and voters of this fair city can stay together, because I know most of us can see through your and Pam's facades.
I don't know why I bother to comment because nobody in their right mind would read this dribble anyway. That and the fact that the Independent will probably remove it because it doesn't fit their agenda.
The base rate is set on the cost of service including fuel along with long term forecasts. The GCA is a mechanism to make up for adjustments in the short term forecasts. I agree that packaging a refund as a decrease in rates is disingenuous, but I don't think I've seen it related that way.
If you are so smart Tom, that you can forecast better than the people selling the gas, who are giving these forecasts on the cost of gas, you should put some money in the market and become a gazillionaire.
The GCA refund is something that can take effect right now and will refund customers by the end of January. If this were to be done in a rate case as Mr. Gallagher purports it would take even longer. A refund, probably just as long in addition to complicating costs.
At yesterday's utilities board meeting they said they are going to have to refund even more because of a decrease in the forecasted cost of gas by CIG. They got a forecast from Colorado Interstate Gas and created a GCA refund based on that estimate in order to make the customer whole, then that forecasted cost from Colorado Interstate Gas got even lower. Instead of making me wait to get my refund, they are doing it now? Those ba*tards!
Gary Fischer is full of it as always.
Utilities has used a three month winter average for wastewater billing for years and for most people it comes out fine. Occasionally there are some shoulder months included, and also pro-rated, but it is still within the normal confines of business and he is just a whiner trying to get out of paying his bills.
Every other utility in the country uses just about the same methodology. The reason for the changes now is that with the automated meter reading project fully installed, Colorado Springs Utilities can now look at your bill on the first of each of those winter months and calculate based on that instead of including any of the shoulder months.
I don't care and even I can figure this out. What's your excuse Mr. Fischer?
I find this pretty surprising; not that Ms. Pierce had an increase in her bill, but that she seemed to think that budget billing gave you a flat rate no matter the usage.
I can't believe that a person would think that they could almost double their utility use and not have to pay double the bill, even on budget billing.
"Why would you let somebody get that far in the hole?" Pierce wants to know. "They don't have an answer for that, and they don't care."
I think Steve Berry explained that pretty clearly, the usage was from the winter and would be cleared out in the summer.
"They make it look like they weren't the big bully, but they were," she says of Utilities. "Either way, I'm screwed."
I fail to see how Utilities was a bully, all I see is someone whining about having to pay for their own bills, and now it looks as if the good people who donate to Project COPE, including people who work at Utilities, are going to bail out her stupidity.
With articles like this I don't see why the Independent doesn't have a big ad on it's front page, "Be and idiot and tell us your story, we'll get you in the news."
Ken, water rates have not gone up 70 percent.
In 2007 water rates went down, they were then raised 40% in 2009. If you look at the 10 year history, the rates from 2000 to 2010 went up around 62 percent while inflation pegged at around 29 percent. The real increase in 10 years, not including inflation was 33 percent. Of course that will double over the next 5 years with Southern Delivery.
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