The issue which generated the greatest debate was "cost of service" and how "costs" should be determined.
I argued that the actual "costs" were already known, accounted for, and collected by the City as those costs are indicated on this pie chart from the City. (click image to see)
The chart identifies the "expenses" of operating and maintaining the water system which were budgeted for FY2011. Let's keep in mind that the reason the Franchise Fee was put in place was to help pay for administrative costs of the City Administrator, City Clerk, and City Attorney.
As you can see, "Other Expenses" and "Administrative Services" appears to cover those expenses. Therefore, the Franchise Fee was a double dip into the Water Fund and the "costs" were already accounted for.
What was presented by staff and agreed to by some members of the Council is the "value" of the water service. This was best represented by lease-back option that was floated by staff. The lease-back would have required that water rate payers pay a fee for leasing the property on which the reservoirs were built. It is the left hand charging the right hand for the honor and convenience of being connected to the same body. It is predicated on a single word: IF. IF the water system had to rent the land... That same logic could be applied to ALL of our city services with dangerous consequences.
How long will it be before this is brought back to Council so that the left hand can take another swipe at the right?