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Much of the news the past couple of weeks has been about the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the events surrounding her funeral. We still have a strong bond with Great Britain and her monarchy even though we fought a war to gain our independence from them.
Queen Elizabeth II was the only reigning queen most of us have known since she has held that position all our lives. Now we will see where we go with the “younger” generations with the new King Charles III. God save the king.
There was a good bit of news in last week’s “Coosa County News,” but the main one to catch me was about the Rockford Utilities Board. We have just had an increase in our water rates because they purchased another system – which brought them many new customers.
Now, they are receiving money from the state’s ARPA fund to help them extend their coverage area again (with no out-of-pocket cost to them), but the money comes with strings – THEY HAVE TO RAISE THE RATES EVERY YEAR the work is in progress to be eligible for the money. Also, keep in mind that the money being offered by the STATE is coming from the FEDERAL government from COVID-19 relief funds that are OUR TAX DOLLARS.
I know we have to have water, and we need to be providing it to more of our Coosa County residents, but why are the rest of us having to pay more? It is a necessity that we take for granted so we sometimes don’t pay attention to how we get it.
Much of our water system has very old pipes, and our sewage system is in need of repairs and upgrades. Is there ever going to be a commitment to those projects? What about the existing customers?
The system is completing a new building in Rockford so they can move out of Town Hall – a good move in my opinion. But, again, where has THAT money come from, and has that also contributed to the raise in rates?
When I lived on Lay Lake (last year) and had service with Fayetteville Water, my basic rate was less than $25 per month, but here it is $30 per month with the LAST increase and will now be going up again.
The article in last week’s paper talks about the reason for this mandatory increase is because of the results of an audit of the system’s finances. One contributing factor was the expense of buying the Parker Creek Water System, but it also mentions that Rockford Utilities has been losing money every year. That actually confirms what many of us have been told for years.
The Board met this past Monday, but I do not know what transpired. Like many of you, I just cannot make it to EVERY meeting that impacts my pocketbook. Here in Coosa County we have the County Commission meetings, the School Board meetings, the Town Council meetings, and the different water boards in the county.
The elected leaders of each of these groups are there to represent the citizens, and we have to be able to trust them to do the “public good.” But, every now and then we need to check in on them just to be sure!
In other news, the Coosa County Sheriff’s Office was looking for two escapees from the Work Release Center. Well, one of Equality’s own, Sharon Coffman, spotted the “little short guy” walking along Alabama Highway 22 and called it in, and he was apprehended! Sheriff Michael Howell told her he was heading back to the Work Release Center when she saw him! Guess he got hungry! So remember – if you see something, say something!
We are now less than 50 days from the November 8 election (hallelujah!) so we really need to be making decisions on who to vote for. The Coosa County Republican Party is hosting events all over Coosa County to give the voters a chance to meet their candidates.
Watch for the announcements – in the newspaper, emails and on Facebook – and come by. There is a separate article in this week’s paper about the public meeting to be held on September 26.
If you are struggling to make ends meet, living payday to payday and/or having to make tough financial decisions, please remember to look at the policies we are now having to live under. Understand WHO set those policies – the party holding the majority in Washington, D.C. Keep that thought in mind as you go to cast your PRIVATE vote that only YOU know about.
Until next week – good luck and God bless!