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Sedona Message to Sewer Users False Says Citizen

Sedona AZ (September 2, 2018) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

City of Sedona Council chamber

The SPECIAL MESSAGE on the Wastewater Account Statement for 7/1/2018 to 7/31/2018 received by sewer users early in August speciously states: “The City Council rescinded the increase for FY 18-19 and rates will remain the same as last year. If you have any questions please call the Finance Dept. at 928.204.7185.” This statement is false as there is NO adopted rate increase for FY 18-19 to rescind.

The Notice of Intention to Increase Wastewater Rates or Rate Components, Fees, or Service Charges inclusive of TABLE 28 (“RECOMMENDED MONTHLY SERVICE RATES”) was adopted on May 27, 2014 by the Mayor and City Council at the time. Stated in the Notice of Intention’s first paragraph: “The Wastewater System Rate Study Report by Hoag Consulting, LLC. . . suggested annual rate increases over the next four years.” Information provided per the fifth bullet: The 4% rate increases are effective for the period “indicated in TABLE 28 of the Report (attached hereto).” ….TABLE 28’s “Period of Implemented New Rates, FY 14-15, FY 15-16, FY 16-17, FY 17-18.”

City ORDINANCE NO. 2014-15 dated 27 May 2014 contains an error. It inaccurately states “For the next six years…” instead of For the next four years. However Exhibit A, “WASTEWATER FEE SCHEDULE 2014-2018,” which contains a retroactive 10% Cost of Service Adjustment for FY 2014 that reversed the waiver the Consultant recommended and Council adopted, is correct. Instead of utilizing ORDINANCE’ NO. 2014-15’s “WASTEWATER FEE SCHEDULE 2014-2018 (Exhibit A),” the City achieved six years of 4% rate increases ending with FY 2020 (vice FY 2018) by fiat.
Visit here for document:  http://www.sedonaaz.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=23274

PLEASE NOTE: Embedded in the 518 page PROPOSED ANNUAL BUDGET Fiscal Year 17-18 where few sewer users would see it is an April 20, 2017 City Manager’s Office Memorandum entitled “Wastewater Enterprise Fund Analysis” From: Cherie R. Wright, Director of Financial Services, To: Mayor Sandy Moriarty and City Council. The 2014 Fee Study Recommended Rate Increases chart on Page 4 of 29 of the PROPOSED ANNUAL BUDGET (actually on the 27th page) is inaccurate as rate increases fail to end with FY 2017-18, but continue through FY 2022-2023.

No Mayor and Council ever adopted the FY 2018-2020 sewer fee increases of 4% nor the FY 2020-2023 sewer fee increases of 3%. For these to be legal, STATE LAW ARS 9-511.01 requires a Notice of Intention to Increase Wastewater Rates at a regular Council meeting and setting a date for a Public Hearing on the proposed increases at least sixty days after adoption of the Notice of Intention.

2014 Fee Study Recommended Rate Increases

FY 2017-18 4% increase
FY 2018-19 4% increase
FY 2019-20 4% increase
FY 2020-21 3% increase
FY 2021-22 3% increase
FY 2022-23 3% increase
FY 2023-24 0% increase
FY 2024-25 0% increase
FY 2025-26 0% increase
FY 2026-27 0% increase
Visit this link to see document: http://ww.sedonaaz.gov/home/showdocument?id=31154

Mayor Moriarty and the City Council chose to ignore the STATE LAW ARS 9-511.01 requirements apropos to the un-adopted FY 2019-FY 2023 sewer rate increases, as well as the emails I’ve sent them.

Jean Jenks
Sedona AZ

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13 Comments

  1. Valaria Knowles says:

    thank you for standing up for us

  2. M Mallon says:

    The next council will be just like this one, it will not listen or care about residents. The voters have spoken, they like high taxes and sewer fees.

  3. PC says:

    council isn’t worth (deleted by editor)
    wouldn’t have one of them at my table
    embarrassing batch of fools

  4. NE says:

    @Wankers math is math is math

  5. JeanJ says:

    FY 2018-19 Wastewater Fund expenditures include Indirect Cost Allocations to the following city departments:

    Information Technology – $161,360
    Human Resources – $46,410
    Financial Services – $196,433
    Utility Billing – $381,257
    General Services – $68,630
    City Manager – $59,650
    City Clerk – $3,870
    City Attorney – $157,540
    Facilities Maintenance – $70,370

    TOTAL; $1,145,520

    Wastewater fees are likewise unfair to residents on the sewer. In 2016-17 the City’s User Fee Structure analysis found the estimated annualized visitor population of 55.4% paid 24.6% of the operational costs of the wastewater system while the estimated resident population of 44.6% paid 75.2% of the operational costs. The portion paid by the resident population increases every year under the Current User Fee Structure because the WW debt gets paid down annually and the sales tax subsidy is being reduced.

  6. steve Segner says:

    Jean, we went over this several months ago, Over head is charged to each division.
    That is accounting 101, it is up to city council and city manager.
    Jean, the waste water plant is subsidized
    by the people paying sales tax when it should be paid for 100% by users , some day it will i hope .
    It does not matter what any past city council said or voted on, new council new rules,

  7. John the big O says:

    to @Steve Segner above —— Jean, the waste water plant is subsidized
    by the people paying sales tax when it should be paid for 100% by users , some day it will i hope .
    It does not matter what any past city council said or voted on, new council new rules,

    NO Segner, YOU owe more than your fair share because you’re a socialist and all Sedona socialists. NOW to you Sedona businesses and council YOU belong to us & we decide what you’ll pay. We’re not paying squat because we can’t afford it but you can because you’re 1%ers and socialists when it suits (like Putin).

    Calling all Sedona Socialists, welcome to Socialism. You wanted it, you got it and Steve, you get to pay your fair share, equal to the users fair share. Welcome to the real socialism. Google Venezuela and Russia and Socialism if you don’t understand how it works.

  8. Steve Segner says:

    I am happy to pay, more if necessary, I pay over $6,000.00 a year .if the city say users should pay more so be it .Socialism is American as apple pie , almost all services are a form of socialism, insurance and SS retirement fire dept and the Army, should be health care also … some day

  9. JeanJ says:

    The City is working on increasing our highest-in-the-area sewer fees now that the primary election is over, another assault on Sedona residents who have weathered an unfair and inequitable sewer rate structure for years.

    Pollution caused by Uptown business interests along Oak Creek resulted in an ADEQ consent decree. The polluters have never paid their fair share–welcome to Socialism.

    The City of Sedona Financial Services Department’s PUBLIC NOTICE in the September 12, 2018 RED ROCK NEWS (Page 14A) is entitled REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS [and Proposed Fee Structure]. This is ” in connection with a possible wastewater utility rate increase.” However, the Public Notice further states “The City intends to award a single contract to one of the top three (3) respondents.”

    See BIDS & RFPS – Wastewater Rate Study
    http://www.sedonaaz.gov/Home/Components/RFP/RFP/80/1298?sortn=RFPNumber&sortd=asc

  10. steve Segner says:

    Jean said, The City is working on increasing our highest-in-the-area sewer fees now that the primary election is over.

    And you know that how ?
    Last years 4% was voted down same for this year, now two years in a row no increase!

    4% over 3 years seem reasonable! As for you comment ” highest-in-the-area sewer fees ” Yes the plant is 8 miles out of town, built on rock get over it .
    By the way waste water treatment and water systems are Socialism at it’s best.
    Jean, you lost on home rule the majority of residents like the city plan and the contract with the chamber all you have left is the sewer fees!
    Sad.

  11. @ JeanJ says:

    That, among other dreadful things, is what the morons here voted for overwhelmingly. So now they are going to get what they voted for overwhelmingly.

  12. @Steve segner says:

    the sad thing is you. Greedy (deleted by editor)

  13. @Steve Segner says:

    Last year’s 4% sewer rate increase was levied, not voted down. Two years in a row without a sewer rate increase is more BS from you, Stevie boy. This year’s 4% rate increase was likely waived because 2018 is an election year.

    The City Manager – Financial Services are not letting grass grow under their feet. Cherie Wright’s REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS found in the September 12 PUBLIC NOTICES, Red Rock News, states that “Sealed Proposals for the Wastewater Rate Study” will be received by the City until 4:00 P.M. local time, October 3, 2018.

    “BIDS & RFPS – Wastewater Rate Study” on the City’s website has detailed information and instructions. The RFQ start date is listed as 2018-09-04, merely one week after the August Primary Election.

    The Wastewater Plant was obsolete when built. According to former Mayor Pud Colquitt, It has had problems since the beginning. The polluter businesses along Oak Creek that begot the ADEQ Consent Decree were never assessed for polluting Oak Creek. And poor decisions by the City have been costly. We on the sewer are being burdened by the obscene amount of interest on the WW debt. FY 2018: Principal, $22,620,000; Interest due and owing, $18,615,210.

    As mentioned by JRN in his “Sedona Mayor on Tourism Ad Dollars Unnecessary” column, most Chambers raise money from corporate donors and channel it back to their municipal hosts, but our Chamber sucks its host dry.

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