Former ​Republican Candidate for House District 35

and Speaking of Wrong

The water mess in Westminster

Here is what I wrote to several media outlets in Denver.  I think this e-mail sums up the situation very well.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I appeal to you to investigate the proposed water increase by the City of Westminster.  At the Monday, September 24 city council meeting there will be vote to increase the rates to a much as $12.88 per thousand gallons.  This is been done under the guise of “critical needs”.  When you look into the facts of the situation, you will find “critical needs” to be a gross misrepresentation.

The facts:

1.  Westminster is a rich city with lots of money on hand.  According to the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) Westminster has over $200 million in unrestricted cash.
2.  According to the CAFRs for 2013 to 2017, the water/sewer enterprise has made $30 million dollars in profit AND set aside $83 million dollars from depreciation of capital assets to address needs of the system.
3.  Westminster owns independent senior water rights to fully cover the needs of the people that live here.  Westminster has not had to impose watering restrictions when other cities have (though Westminster does not flout that reality).  Our sufficient water is legacy from past city leaders.
4.  The water tier rate structure is primarily used to reduce water use.  Usually a reduction in water use, even with rate increases, leads towards a neutral revenue impact.  In order to produce a revenue increase (to address “critical needs”) the tiers have been adjusted to make all outside water use at a rate higher than what other cities charge their largest users.

Comparison of rates from Front Range water providers.

 1.  Proposed rates for Westminster in 2020:  1-6 thousand gallons per month $3.96, 7-20 $8.15, over 20 $12.88

2.  Current for Denver: Average winter consumption (AWC) eg: 1-6 thousand $2.29, AWC+15 thousand eg: 6 to 21 $4.12  over 21 $5.50

 3.  Green Mountain WSD (Lakewood) 1-16 $4.79, 17 -50 $5.34, over 50 $5.99

4.  Current for Ft Collins-Loveland WD 1-8 $1.62, 9-16 $2.29, over 16 $3.09

5.  Current Pueblo WD:  no tiers $2.66 per thousand for 2017

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6.  Current Aurora:  1-20 $5.44, 21 -40 $6.19, over 40 $7.74

I think Aurora has the least senior water rights.  Cities with long histories, bought their rights much earlier and at lowers prices and are now sharing that legacy of foresight with their residents. 

Westminster is not sharing their legacy of water with their residents.  “critical needs” is a deception.  Please ask the question:  What is the real motive in the gouging of Westminster residents?  

I hope I have stimulated your curiosity.  

Bruce Baker , 303-547-0495