Improving services costs more in fees

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 8, 2008

The issue: The Dallas County Water and Sewer Authority has made improvements in its system, but will charge higher fees.

Our position: Users who enjoy the improved services should be willing to pay the price.

We understand the fear some customers of the Dallas County Water and Sewer Authority might have right now about paying higher fees.

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After all, about $9 million worth of improvements are under way, and it’s likely some of the costs will be passed on to users in higher fees for the services.

System directors are not greedy. They will not charge the people any more than it takes to install the improvements for the health and safety of those who use the services.

The authority has proven its dependability in terms of service.

Residents in the areas that will receive the sewer improvements say that every time their outdated pumps have stopped working, maintenance or repair workers from the authority have responded quickly.

That’s important for the health and safety of all those who live along Henry Street, Gains Avenue, South Avenue, West Drive and Dawson Street off the Cecil Jackson Bypass.

Some residents say they pay enough.

And it’s understandable the frustration that arises in individuals when faced with rising gasoline prices at the pump and food prices at the supermarket.

But serveral dollars more a month for a more reliable sewer system is, many say, worth the cost.

Th increases won’t show up on bills until next year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture loaned the authority $3.424 million to pay for the project.

The authority also received a grant of $1.523 million in March.

And the authority is attempting to help out, too.

The board will bring in additional revenue to help pay back the loans by selling money orders and taking payments for other utility companies.

In the long run, the changes will save money because the authority won’t have to spend as much on maintenance and repair, which are costly for the type of sewer system that’s in place already.

When faced with either paying several dollars in extra fees in the short haul for more reliable service or suffering in the long term, it makes sense which option to choose.

The authority should tell its customers as quickly as it can the amount of the increase.

Communication in times like these is as important as the trust built between the authority and its customers over the years.