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At this rate ...  

We've seen our utility bills skyrocket this winter, and further rate increases are already in the works. Meanwhile, a debate is growing as to whether developers are paying their fair share of the costs of utility hookups for new development. These and other issues affecting our rates will be discussed at the April 27 meeting of City Council. Until then, ponder this: Colorado Springs Utilities director Phil Tollefson's current salary is $265,404 a year; in addition he earns a sweet $37,000 benefits package, plus a bonus this year alone of $22,700.

click to enlarge Dale Kemmerer -  - Peregrine   -  - Physician -  -  -  - What have your utility bills been like lately? They've gone way up, but what bothers me even more is that they're going to continue going up. Colorado Springs ratepayers subsidize every new family moving into a new house to the tune of $30,000 to $40,000, and the price of doing that will show up in our utility bills over the next 30 to 40 years. -  - Are developers paying their fair share for utility hookups? Far from it. The figures I saw are that $1.5 billion in new infrastructure is needed, and the developers pay only $.5 billion of that. We consumers will pay the remaining billion. That should be put to public debate. -  - Will CSU ever get serious about utilizing alternative energy sources? I see nothing on the horizon to indicate that. This is a very sunny community. We could do a lot to utilize solar and wind energy. -  - How much do you think CSU director Phil Tollefson makes? I'd guess about twice what the average teacher makes -- about $80,000 a year. -  - Are you planning to attend the April 27 public rate increase hearing? Yes I am.
  • Dale Kemmerer

    Peregrine

    Physician

    What have your utility bills been like lately? They've gone way up, but what bothers me even more is that they're going to continue going up. Colorado Springs ratepayers subsidize every new family moving into a new house to the tune of $30,000 to $40,000, and the price of doing that will show up in our utility bills over the next 30 to 40 years.

    Are developers paying their fair share for utility hookups? Far from it. The figures I saw are that $1.5 billion in new infrastructure is needed, and the developers pay only $.5 billion of that. We consumers will pay the remaining billion. That should be put to public debate.

    Will CSU ever get serious about utilizing alternative energy sources? I see nothing on the horizon to indicate that. This is a very sunny community. We could do a lot to utilize solar and wind energy.

    How much do you think CSU director Phil Tollefson makes? I'd guess about twice what the average teacher makes -- about $80,000 a year.

    Are you planning to attend the April 27 public rate increase hearing? Yes I am.

click to enlarge Anne Armitage  -  - Ivywild -  - Grants manager for a nonprofit   -  -  - What have your utility bills been like lately? They've been high, and I'm very careful about my use of energy. I don't even drive a car. -  - CSU says it needs another rate increase. What do you think? My understanding is that the rate increase is tied to the new development in Banning-Lewis Ranch. Part of the cost of extending service is paid by the purchaser of the development, and the rest is paid by residents already living here. That doesn't sit so well with those of us who've been living here a long time. -  - Will CSU ever get serious about alternative energy? I have a dream that Colorado will take the lead in using wind and solar power. We have the perfect climate for it. -  - How much do you think CSU director Phil Tollefson makes? $150,000 a year?
  • Anne Armitage

    Ivywild

    Grants manager for a nonprofit

    What have your utility bills been like lately? They've been high, and I'm very careful about my use of energy. I don't even drive a car.

    CSU says it needs another rate increase. What do you think? My understanding is that the rate increase is tied to the new development in Banning-Lewis Ranch. Part of the cost of extending service is paid by the purchaser of the development, and the rest is paid by residents already living here. That doesn't sit so well with those of us who've been living here a long time.

    Will CSU ever get serious about alternative energy? I have a dream that Colorado will take the lead in using wind and solar power. We have the perfect climate for it.

    How much do you think CSU director Phil Tollefson makes? $150,000 a year?

click to enlarge Mary Quan  -  - Uintah Gardens  -  - Retired medical technician -  -  -  - What are your utility bills like? They're extremely high, especially for people on fixed incomes. -  - What do you think about CSU's request for another rate increase? There's no way they should get another rate increase so soon. They got a 40 percent increase back in October, and they had another one six weeks ago. It's getting out of hand. -  - How much do you think CSU director Phil Tollefson make? I'd say about $50,000 a year.
  • Mary Quan

    Uintah Gardens

    Retired medical technician

    What are your utility bills like? They're extremely high, especially for people on fixed incomes.

    What do you think about CSU's request for another rate increase? There's no way they should get another rate increase so soon. They got a 40 percent increase back in October, and they had another one six weeks ago. It's getting out of hand.

    How much do you think CSU director Phil Tollefson make? I'd say about $50,000 a year.

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