In an effort to be fair to our town officials, as well as our citizens, we have formed a non-bias as possible committee, Concerned Citizens of Mountain View.
We have followed every lead as it pertains to water, researched every possibility, attended every meeting and spoke to every department.
In conclusion, we continue to research and challenge our officials for answers. We are searching for citizens with expertise in the fields of water and sewer, as well as, accounting. If you have or are willing to join us in serving our community, we encourage you to attend our meetings and watch our Facebook page as well as the local newspaper for futures times, dates and locations.
The BVJP (Bridger Valley Joint Power) is where most of Bridger Valley’s water comes from. The small rate increase by this board is as follows: from 76 cents to 80 cents per 1,000 gallons. This is the wholesale rate that both Mountain View and Lyman pay. Thee are no pay raises this year to BVJP employees in any of this increase. This increase is mostly for the increase in chemicals used in treating our water.
Lyman charges 39.05 as a base rate, and its customers receive 7,000 gallons with that at no extra charge until they go beyond the 7,000 gallons. Then, the cost is $2.75, up to 20,000 gallons.
Mountain View charges 55.08 as a base rate, and its customers receive 7,000 gallons with that at no extra charge. Once 2,000 gallons is reached, it costs 3.82 per 1,000 until 10,000 is reached then it goes up to .60 per thousand gallons. County residents receive a charge of $25 with no gallons included in the base rate. They are then charged for each thousand gallons on top of that base at a rate of 4.50 per 1,000 gallons.
So, in comparison, the same 12,000 gallons will cost:
County residents – $79,
Lyman residents $52.80,
Mountain View residents $94.84.
Mountain View’s increase for just its residential customers for this upcoming fiscal year that started July 1 is an increase of $319,243.68. Please note, this figure does not reflect the fact that Mountain View pays $235,407.96 back to BVJP. Therefore, the actual increase is $83,835.72. Please remember, this is only the water increase. Our next inquiries will be for our sewer increases.
How is this money to be spent, and is it necessary?
Water leaks are a main concern as Public Works continues to repair and replace old water lines. Two aging Public Work Employees are training new staff to take their positions within the next few years, when they retire. This accounts for a $24,000 increase in just the Water Budget wages.
Our council, in an attempt to shift the blame onto both the Town of Lyman and the Bridger Valley Joint Powers Board, have suggested the Mountain View subsides Lyman’s water. That simply isn’t true. Lyman supplements it water with two springs that they own and have used since the 60s. They treat and test their own water to the EPA standards set. Without these springs, BVJP simply wouldn’t have enough water in the summer to serve Bridger Valley.
An unfair flat rate for all of Bridger Valley was suggested as the culprit for the extreme rate increase. The suggestion the County’s base rate of $25 is unfair as this rate merely establishes a right to use water. However, those in the county receive zero gallons with this rate, and a higher rate per 1,000 gallons used.