Dianna Suarez: Horse keeps chasing the cart at NID
Regarding The Union article, “Water district OKs new budget,” fiscal responsibility was the Clarion Call that came out of the last election.
The proposed water rate hike comes after five years of a 6 percent annual increase from 2013-2018, that exceeded 30 percent overall. There will be no break for NID customers with the current group of Nick Wilcox, Scott Miller and Chris Bierwagen pushing through a budget that demands even more ratepayer money for Nevada Irrigation District.
Laura Peters, true to her word, tried to find efficiencies in the NID operating budget, suggested looking at costs of current projects, and cutting the $2 million budgeted for Centennial Dam in order to fund a higher priority project at Combie Reservoir. Ricki Heck also tried to reduce the impact of water rates by suggesting across the board cost cutting for each department at the water agency. She added that each $200,000 saved translates to a 1 percent reduction in rates.
The voices of fiscal responsibility fell on deaf ears, just like the public input.
Chris Bierwagen said the NID budget was like his business and he had to deal with failed crops and uncertainty. But this water district is not a business and should not be run like a capitalistic enterprise. For instance, we would not want our tax dollars subject to crop failure. Public money is the stuff that insures farmers because it is something we can count on. Rem Scherzinger assured the board that they could not pay their bills if this budget with its questionable income was not rubber stamped. He also assured the ladies that they could submit budget amendments later if they wanted.
The thing is, at NID, later never comes, the horse just keeps chasing the cart.
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