For those of you that might have missed it, the Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities is proposing an increase in water and sewer rates. With the increase, the average user can expect to see their bill go up $7.49 per month or just about $90 a year, according to BMU figures.
That's right, $90 a year. To some, that is just a drop in a bucket, but to me that's more than a couple of Happy Meals. While I realize that Sikeston's rates are still very comparable, what agitates me is that such a steep increase could have been avoided.
I understand the need for the increase. Systems age, production costs increase and sewers backup. That is all part of it. But instead of seeing a need and gradually increasing our rates, our leaders have kept our rates the same since 1998. So instead of an increase of a dollar a month each year (that equals $12 a year for those who are mathematically challenged) they spring the increase on us all at once. Thanks a lot.
Most of us aren't stupid. We know more money is going to be needed for services but most of us wouldn't have raised much of an eyebrow for a small increase. But for those of us on what they call a "budget," we are going to have to make tough choices.
For me, my cable bill is about $90 a month and while it isn't remotely worth the cost, I'm keeping it. A David without his SportsCenter is a David I don't want to be. So I went online to try and find ways to save on my water bill.
That is when I ran across maybe the strangest family I've ever heard of. This family has two toilets in their house and one is for number one while the other is for going number two. The number one toilet is flushed only once, and that's at the end of the day while the second toilet is flushed for waste removal only. And all toilet paper is put into a plastic bag to prevent additional flushing. This is a little too disgusting for me, so I'll strike that idea. Well, I guess I could start going outside to tinkle and if my neighbors complain I could use the "I'm just trying to save money" line.
The next idea was to purchase a low-flo shower head, but that is a fallacy. They actually cost you more money. With a low-flo shower head it takes 30 minutes in the shower for what my rip-the-skin-off-your-flesh shower head can get done in 10 minutes. Not to mention the pain I get from the stream of water wakes me up and gets me ready for the day.
However, I may be willing to go on a shower strike every so often on the day I pay my water bill. I'll make sure I've worked out real well for a couple days and go in there and smell like a stagnant locker room. We'll see how they like their increase then.
The next idea I found may work. Instead of watering your plants every day, save by only watering them once a week. That I can do. And when they die and look like crap, I can say "Hey, I'm just trying to save some money," instead of my normal response of "my wife killed them."
Of course, another suggestion was to not leave the tap running when brushing your teeth or shaving. But then what would I do to drown out my wife giving me her "honey do" list? They just don't think these things out.
Since it doesn't appear I can get rid of my cable or use less water I guess I'll have to ask for a raise to help pay for the stupid increase. Maybe a threat of a shower strike will get me some more money!