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CCCWWC Anticipates Water Rate Hike For Customers
The Clarence Cannon Wholesale Water Commission anticipates having to raise water rates to pay for an unforeseen increase in the raw water bill paid to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Commission has a contract with the Corps to buy the raw water from Mark Twain Lake which is made potable in its water treatment plant near Florida, Missouri and then provided to its member systems.
The Commission provides water to twenty cities and public water districts who serve the households and businesses in fourteen northeast Missouri counties. The Commission members serve portions of Lewis and Knox Counties at northern end of the service area, Randolph County to the southwest, Pike County to the east, and expanding this year to Montgomery County to the southeast; and all the Counties in between. The Commission is a not-for-profit public utility that pays for raw lake water even though the storage of raw water did not cost the U.S. Government any more money to build Clarence Cannon Dam project than if raw water were not available, and does not cost the U.S. Government any money, year to year.
Last year, the Commission used less water than the year before, but was billed $375,329.37, almost $100,000 more than the year before. The State of Missouri also pays for raw water for northeast Missouri. The State’s bill this year was increased to $696,117.08, which is over $200,000 more than the year before. These charges were because the Corps received extra infrastructure money from Congress, so the Corps billed the Commission and State a fixed percentage of the extra money received. The raw water bill to the Commission and the State simply are an unfair tax to the citizens of northeast Missouri. The structure of the contract also makes it more expensive every year for the Commission to increase their raw water intake. This will hamper future business and population growth in northeast Missouri.
The people of Northeast Missouri who rely on this water supply should not have to contend with higher utility bills for drinking water because of huge, unexpected increases in what is being charged by the federal government for the same amount, (or even less), of water used from one year to the next. In addition, the future economic growth of the region should not be compromised by a flawed contract that rapidly escalates the cost of water so that it becomes prohibitive in the years ahead.
The citizens of NE Missouri are therefore encouraged to contact their federal representatives to urge them to require that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers negotiate and amend the water supply contract to ensure that future water costs are fair, predictable, and affordable in the future.