Letter to the Editor: More to water issue than we are hearing

Posted 5/3/21

More to water issue than we are hearing There is a lot of rhetoric, questionable statements and misleading impressions from Bill Christopher’s column (“Finding the source of Westminster’s water …

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Letter to the Editor: More to water issue than we are hearing

Posted

More to water issue than we are hearing

There is a lot of rhetoric, questionable statements and misleading impressions from Bill Christopher’s column (“Finding the source of Westminster’s water debacle”) regarding the water issue.

Bill suggests the city should hire a consultant to assess the water utility’s financial needs. According to Headwaters Magazine (https://www.watereducationcolorado.org/publications-and-radio/headwaters-magazine/summer-2020-keeping-up-with-aging-infrastructure/building-for-tomorrow/), City Utility Engineering Manager Julie Koehler has a database of the utility’s assets. As a licensed professional engineer, she is in an excellent position to assess the utility’s needs.

The city also commissioned a 2017 study by consultants Raftelis to understand how to set the water rates in order that everyone pays their fair share. Bill doesn’t mention this study and ignores the research and conclusions. (The study is here: https://www.cityofwestminster.us/Portals/1/Documents/Government - Documents/Departments/Public Works and Utilities/Westminster Rate and Fee COS Study Report 3-11-19 FINAL.pdf)

Bill then falsely assumes that new residential development is a burden on the city’s water infrastructure while new commercial development is not. In fact, both pay tap fees which are calculated to offset any infrastructural burden (including water rights acquisition) from all development. This was covered in the city council study sessions.

Westminster has real challenges that must be addressed. How can voters do this responsibly when the columnists who get a local media megaphone are not doing basic research? Bill Christopher once wrote disparagingly about the art of “selective public information,” but he has presented us with an incomplete analysis based on a limited set of facts.

As Bill said, “It is always important to ask the ‘Why’ question.”

Tim Pegg,

Westminster

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