Public opinion split on possible DPU measure

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Those fearing rate increases oppose restructuring, while others stress fairness and sustainability.

The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities’ proposal to apply tiered residential water rates during peak season generated heated public comment on the county’s Open Forum and at the public hearing.
Although most of those attending the meeting opposed the ordinance, Open Forum comment was evenly split (10 for, 11 opposed). With few exceptions, comments during the meeting and those on the Open Forum had similar themes.
One theme, voiced by Wendy Skidmore at the meeting, is that “The proposed rates are punitive to those with large families, to those who have a lawn and those who maintain gardens.”
Skidmore’s husband Cary added, “My concern is, if we put anything in place that makes it more burdensome to have private green space, that’s a step away from family friendly.”
Edward Schneider argued that any tiered water rate should take into account the difference in climate between Los Alamos and White Rock, since White Rock is much drier and requires more irrigation.
One resident on the Open Forum wrote, “So what happens to the yard trees that die? Because I sure as hell won’t be watering my trees if this passes and I will let my grass die. I will go off the hill to find food because I can’t afford the water to grow the fruits and vegetables I like to eat.”

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