When the Town of Cape Charles finally signs off on selling the water and wastewater plants, what will the future rates look like? Despite all the briefs, forums, town hall meetings, op-eds being written, nobody can really say for sure. So, what is your tolerance for pain?
Selling the utilities is really a crapshoot.
What we do know is that there will be rate increases. As we write this, Virginia American Water has a request pending at the SCC for a 28% increase in rates. There are certainly reasons for this–new construction, expansion, and “capital improvements”.
Whatever the reason, are citizens ready to absorb a massive rate increase of 20, 30, 40, or even 50 percent?
Be assured, it will happen. Once the sale is final, the cow will be out of the barn and it will never come back. The town, without some form of legislative action, will never be able to regain control of the utilities.
With a zero-interest loan ready to be paid off in just a few years, the town would own and control a basically brand new system.
As citizens, you should be asking why this is happening, what is the real motivation, and who is really going to benefit (hint, not you)? What is the end game?
What is your tolerance for pain?