The Pueblo West View

Letter: Consensus and goodwill ­— really?

Consensus and goodwill ­— really?

A recent writer to the View takes a poke at a member of Pueblo West’s Metropolitan District Board of Directors for suggesting that Whitlock Construction’s and School District 70’s motives in asking for a variance on the installation of a single, common water line, rather than two separate lines for drinking water and fire suppression water at Sierra Vista Elementary School may have included efforts to avoid paying Pueblo West’s water enterprise tap fees. The writer contends that this was a “complete distortion of the facts.” Nonsense!

Actually, this appears more like a thoughtfully drawn expectation, considering on-going and recent efforts by builders/developers to avoid paying metro district tap fees – fees charged when new construction is hooked up to water and sewer services. Those fees help pay for the infrastructure required to deliver water and sewer services throughout the metro district.

A few months back, a proposition to consider reducing or eliminating tap fees was floated at a metro district board meeting. It wasn’t the first time that developers and their apologists have made such a pitch. Fortunately, that proposal was shot down when a committee was appointed to consider it and decided in the negative. Don’t be surprised when the proposition resurfaces.

And it will resurface, because more recently, candidates for election to metro board vacancies on the May 5 election ballot were propositioned by the builders association that to receive its endorsement, two actions were expected: 1) Agree to work to reduce or eliminate metro district tap fees; 2) Support the sales-tax-for-roads proposition on the same ballot. Several candidates for those board positions have confirmed this.

Builders and developers seem to expect the general public to support their development activities, not just as boosters, but by paying for builders’ infrastructure costs – the cost of providing water and sewer services to their projects through consequent increases in residential water/sewer user rates; and the cost of targeted road improvements made to enhance the salability of their projects. Never mind that metro district residents will be disadvantaged by these actions – increased residential utility costs; their neighborhood and other roads neglected.

Pueblo West metro board members need to remember that they represent the entire community, not just the builders and developers. Yes, let’s strive for consensus and goodwill, as the writer admonishes; but let’s not favor the developers at the expense of the rest of the community.

Bill Clemens

Pueblo West

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