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Letter to the editor: Cheaper then bottled water

To the editor:

I offer a different comparison from your “Rates…” article.

Just for illustration, I chose The Dalles, $0.00526 per gallon for the first 10,000 gallons. The next best price alternative is to purchase water from a grocery at $0.432 per pint or $3.42 per gallon.

The price of water, for which one has to make the round trip to a grocery, is 650 times greater than the price of water one can get by just turning the spigot.

For about the price of a gallon of bottled water, one can obtain a gallon of gasoline, which will power your family chariot 5 to 20 miles down the road. Bottled water sales pale in comparison to the volume of corn-sweetened beverages and alcoholic beverages. That is why these items are in the center of the store, directly in front of the door. These items cost at least 2,000 times as much as The Dalles city water directly from the tap. These items will ruin your health and provide obscene profits to companies in Cincinnati, Atlanta and Bentonville.

The point is, we bemoan the cost of the important things in life: water, sewer, roads, publicly owned electricity, libraries, parks, police — all things we get at the cost of service. Some scrooge questions every action and expenditure, demanding more for less. A mathematical truth is a million times nothing is still nothing.

If The Dalles would double its water expenditure, all the workers would think they died and went to heaven, the cost of bottled water would still be 325 times as much. If The Dalles delivered water for free, one could not buy much more soda with the savings.

The sewer system separates The Dalles from places like Mumbai. Try getting rid of your 10,000 gallons of water with a 5-gallon bucket. In The Dalles, one can swim downstream from the treatment outfall. In Mumbai, the cost of sewer service is extremely high and appears as shortened life expectancy and disease. In The Dalles it is truly one of the best deals.

I frequently pass city workers on my morning bike ride. They are out there before the city awakes, sealing the streets, fixing the sewer on Fourth Street, chasing the mystery pollutant to Mill Creek and the like. They are all working diligently and productively. Let’s spend our money on what brings us health and wellbeing.

Terry Armentrout

The Dalles


holdyerfire 3 years, 8 months ago

Terry, good points, but as one of the "Scrooges", it isn't about the service, it is about accountability. This began in the early 80's, a dear friend, who is no longer with us, fought with the city over the raising of the water/sewer rates back then. A senior citizen, living on a limited income, she explained that the increase from $17 to almost $20 and then to $24 was too much, and a burden on folks that could not afford it. The reason for the increases, as now, was that the system was in dire need of improvement. We have seen the rates go up, continuously to the present $97+ per month, with the city claiming that the system needs improving and upgrades that have been delayed, are going to double the rate by 2022. Businesses face even much higher bills.....why, after 35 plus years of rate increases, has the money not been used to make those improvements? It was suggested, that the funds were diverted into the general fund, and the street fund, but they are asking to add an additional tax on gas for street repair, as apparently those too are deteriorating. In most households, raising additional funds when prices suddenly skyrocket, for water, electricity, food etc. is done by cutting elsewhere, with a pencil, applied vigorously, to a budget. Our city seems to not take this approach, they simply raise rates, come up with additional tax's, and they have been doing this since the law that limits the tax rate was implemented. Please explain why we shouldn't question this cash cow approach that the city seems to be taking.


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