#CLCWA $88 Million dollar Bond on our Nov 2016 ballot: Op-Ed
Why I am voting NO.
A few days ago, a voter asked what this Clear Lake City Water Authority (CLCWA) Bond at the bottom of our ballot was all about…. after my initial loss for words, I remembered hearing about this possibility a few years ago and went directly to the CLCWA website for more information.
Here is what the CLWA is wanting us to pay for:
- $13.9 million for water line rehabilitation and replacements including a nearly 50 year old 20” water main that serves parts of Camino South and Meadowgreen, water tank recoatings, a large generator replacement, and a joint venture with the City of Houston and other co-participants of the Southeast Water Treatment Plant to replace a water supply main on Hwy. 3;
- $16.8 million for wastewater rehabilitation and replacement including numerous lift station rehabilitations and upgrades, TV inspections and rehabilitation of the sanitary sewer lines, and a zinc and copper treatment system to meet state and federal mandated regulations;
- $33.3 million for rehabilitation and TV inspections of the storm sewer system, detention facility expansions and construction for flood control purposes (includes Exploration Green area, former golf course) and expansion of the reuse water system;
- $24 million for engineering, construction contingency, and fees.
I could almost see numbers 1 & 2 being viable ‘needs’ but these are expected upgrade costs that should have been worked into the budget and savings put aside to carry them out as needed, not proposed as an added property tax for property owners. Kind of like a ‘rainy day’ fund.
As for item number 3 … speaking as a tax payer in this district, I don’t believe my family should HAVE to fund a CLCWA real estate investment. We’ve seen their plans, before the property was even purchased, and completely disagreed with it, along with many residents in that community.
Item number 4 seems to be nothing more than a $24 Million dollar slush fund.
If you notice, CLCWA states that the financial adviser says that this $88 Million dollar Bond would not increase your tax responsibility. So …. I am supposed to trust an unnamed adviser that most likely doesn’t live in our community or pay these taxes? Umm… okay? And since when doesn’t borrowing money cost anything?
The bottom line is, there are so many taxing entities that a property owner must keep up with now, it’s ridiculous for any one of them to ask for more when we are all tightening our budgets to make ends meet. Why is it wrong to ask them to do the same?
I’m not going to pretend to know all the details behind this bond because frankly, it flew in under my radar but what I do know is this type of behavior by taxing authorities is pushing a lot of families out of their homes, or at the very least, causing some hardships that they should not have to worry about. It’s bad enough that our water/sewer bill has steadily increased over the past few years (some of this is thanks to the new smart water meters) ….. has your household income kept up? I will tell you that ours has not.
Make no mistake about it…This is another PROPERTY TAX!
When, and if, more information surfaces, I will update this blog post. Until then, please share that we are voting on a tax increase with other voters in your neighborhood…. it’s at the BOTTOM of the ballot.
A CLCWA tax payer VOTING NO,