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LETTER: County water customers shouldn’t pay for rate increase

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Attention fellow county and city water customers: we need to stop the water rate increase to county customers.
In order to support my feeling that we, the county water customers, should not have a rate increase to correspond with the increase from the City of Louisville Water Co., I am doing an extensive open records request of four years of city financial statements including budgets, three years of CPA’s audits, water rate ordinances, compensation of elected officials ordinances, minutes of regular and special meetings and other records.
I have found what I believe to be some significant financial misrepresentations by the city clerk, city treasurer, mayor, city commissioners and CPA in the accounting of revenues and expenses among the City of Taylorsville general governmental activities (functions principally supported by taxes) and the business-type activities or enterprise fund: water, sewer and sanitation (functions that are intended to recover all or a significant portion of their costs through user fees and charges).
The generally accepted accounting principles and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board are among the accepted accounting methods for governmental activities in the United States of America.  When the City dumps non-water expenses on us, they’re not following the core accounting principal of matching revenue and expenses in proper reporting entities.
Here’s where I am throwing up the red flag for my fellow water customers.
Based on my review thus far, I believe that city and county water customers are paying 100 percent of the following expenses that should be properly allocated among water, sewer, sanitation, police, streets and general government activities:
•100 percent of mayor’s and commissioners’ payroll;
•100 percent of city’s administrative office salaries;
•100 percent of city’s administrative overtime;
•100 percent of city’s administrative compensated absences/vacations;
•100 percent of related payroll taxes:  FICA/SS, employer Medicare, workers’ comp insurance, Kentucky unemployment insurance;
•100 percent of city’s administrative employees’ health insurance;
•100 percent of city’s administrative employees’ retirement matching fund;
•100 percent of medical allowance reimbursements to mayor and commissioners;
•100 percent of mayor’s and three commissioners’ cell phones bills;
•100 percent of postage and office supplies that includes city sewer and city sanitation services billings;
•100 percent of public works director salary, related payroll taxes, health insurance, workers’ comp insurance, retirement fund, vacation;
•100 percent of street employee salary, overtime, related payroll taxes, health insurance, workers’ comp insurance, retirement fund, vacation; and
•100 percent of bad debts.
These exact items are in the water appropriations budget for 2012-2013 totaling approximately $1,269,611. If proper accounting methods were followed by the City of Taylorsville and 15 percent of these expense items were determined to be sewer, sanitation, police, street and general government activities, $190,441 of expenses would be removed from the water budget. A 10 percent determination would remove $127,000 expenses out of water.  Clearly, we can all see that a $70,000 increase from the City of Louisville Water should not result in an increase to the county water customers.
 The bigger impact: these same accounting procedures have been in place at least during 2008-09; 2009-10; 2010-11; 2011-12; and now in the 2012-13 budget.  At the time of my editorial deadline, I am unable to determine how many previous years this has been going on, nor have I had the opportunity to review other pertinent financial information that is on my list.
 Please call or stop by City Hall to sign up to speak at the June 5 budget meeting (the budget includes the water rate increase) at 4 p.m. and the 5 p.m. regular meeting before noon on Friday, June 1.
Please attend the Tuesday, June 5, budget meeting at 4 p.m. and regular meeting at 5 p.m. Your presence will send a huge message to the city that we are educated about their financial games and that enough is enough. Even if it’s not in your nature to attend public meetings, please arrange your schedule for June 5 attendance.
 For the record, Commissioner Nathan Nation is the only commissioner that did not support raising the water rates to customers.
Evy McKemie
Spencer County