At an MCSD meeting in October 2019, the board reviewed a rate study increase prepared by a small community traveling consulting group. The report suggested the possibility of raising MCSD water, sewer, and refuse rates incrementally for five years. A reporter published the proposed rate increases in the Herald. I thought it was a mistake or a joke and wrote to several MCSD board members asking if this was a mistake and received no response.

The MCSD Finance Officer gave information for the study, not on actual year end data or on information from completed audits, but from a one year approved budget that he crafted. The audits haven’t been completed since 2013. Get the audits done, then raise the rates if necessary.

The district finances have not been balanced since 2013. They should stop all increases until this gets done.

One board member amazingly remarked about the rate study – spreadsheets don’t lie, you put in the numbers and out comes the truth. Well why did the refuse fund spreadsheet lie in 2017? It said refuse rates would be $23.93 this year not $31 proposed. Did the spreadsheet lie?

In 2017 the MCSD found $900,000 in a checking account previously unreported.

The sewer fund has $1,125,000 in its reserve funds. A sewer loan will be paid off in 2023. The consulting group remarked of a substantial reserve fund and said the rates can be tweaked.

Whatever happened to the $75,000 annual property tax payment to the MCSD not included in the study (not the assessments for Park and Fire)?

The public can object to the three proposed rate increases. Bring in or mail letters to be received by Feb. 10 to the District Office or bring to Scout Hall by 6 p.m. before the hearing.

Diane Lowe

McCloud