Monday, September 19, 2016

Area Residents Shocked by New Utility Bills

Residents in Baldwin City, had a bit of sticker shock when they seen their most recent utility bill from the city of Baldwin City. Although, the past few months there has been much talk about the new 2.5% franchise fee that would be on the utility bill. Several seemed shocked when they received that first bill since its implementation.
In a Facebook post in the community group, "Citizens for the Future of Baldwin City Community," Mike Bosch posted,
"New utility bills out with the franchise fee. We're seeing 2.5% now. Another 2.5% next year. I'll be taking donations to help pay for our electricity. Any takers?" - Mike Bosch
One reply from Susan Pitts suggested she would have the start selling Plasma or her organs to pay the bills.
"Ouch! I'm going to have to start donating blood or selling organs to keep the lights on. This town seriously needs to find a way to get these costs down."  - Susan Pitts
Elizabeth Mather worried about her and others like her on a fixed income, if residential rates was that high as well.
Another comment on the thread reminded people that the more people we have in town, the more the costs would be spread out.
 "Okay, I am going to put a little spin this....only because I think it is something everyone needs to remember. There are people in town that does NOT want Baldwin City to grow. Well, if you don't grow, the current population gets to pay for the growing costs. So the next time you all don't want "non-locally owned business" in town or fight against growth ....which several have on here, you can't complain about paying more for services.... If you are not willing to grow and include others to help you pay! Right??? " - Allen Kinsley 
 Another comment reminded everyone, that the 2.5% franchise fee was only half of it. September 2017 the fee will double to five percent.
In another thread started by Brian Pitts who shared a photograph of his residential bill, commented,
"I almost threw up at the mailbox this is absolutely God damn unacceptable I can't afford this it's easily $200 higher than a normal month. This has got to be some kind of mistake! I see now why they're building a barricade in City Hall because I am absolutely Furious" - Brian Pitts
In the ensuing comments, it was suggested that residents turn out in mass to the next city council meeting, scheduled for tonight (Monday September 19) at 7 P.M.

Update: In later comments after this article was written, Council-Member David  Simmons commented that there was an extra nine days in the billing cycle,
" it's not the franchise fee that caused so much sticker shock. It's the additional nine days in the billing cycle from last month. 27 days last bill/36 days this bill. 33% increase in the number of days. Next month's bill will be considerably less because it won't have 36 days." - David Simmons, Baldwin City Council


  1. What the author of this article failed to include was the later discussions between Balwin residents and City Councilmen resulting in a better understanding of the increase in our city utility bill. The increase actually stems from a 33% increase in days added to the billing cycle which was revealed in conversations not discussed in this article. The 2.5% increase is necessary and not substantial. It was concluded that billing cycle changes and decreased late fees need to be implemented and is the larger issue here. These quotes from Facebook are completely irrelevant information and the quotes used were made from a lack of clarity. The real article should actually discuss how Baldwin City residents work together for positive results. How we will come together tonight at the City Council meeting and get involved for positive changes in our community and ultimately what a wonderful town Baldwin is because of the passion and involvement of the community. You're more than welcome to quote me on this. :) Susan Pitts

  2. Perhaps the city council should have thought twice before they gave Dave Hill's slush fund benefiting Dave Hill (BCED, a non-government, private corporation)$15000 from the utility department's marketing account to pay half of Hank Booth's salary right before they sock ratepayers with a 5% increase in utility costs.

    Rob Peter (ratepayers) to pay Paul (Dave Hill).


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