Last month, Oak Ridgers were hit with a water/sewer rate increase for the second time in nine months to pay for $15 million worth of debt that you were told (incorrectly) was issued to cover a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandate. On Monday night, City Council is preparing to approve another $18 million in debt for the same cause, which will result in subsequent rate increases.
A statement I received this weekend from one resident sums up the frustrations that so many of you have been sharing with me: “Utility rates (water, sewer, electrical, trash pickup, etc.) keep going up; the city and county property ‘double’ taxation is simply too much. It so happens that our group of friends and us discuss the idea of moving to other less costly vicinities nearby more often than before. We would strongly suggest that our city government start budgeting our expenditures with the money we have.”