“LARGEST CAPITAL INVESTMENT” brings smallest (yet significant) error

Accuracy matters when you’re managing MILLIONS of dollars.

Yesterday the City of Charlestown’s Facebook page shared images boasting about how the sale of our water utility to Indiana American Water will represent “THE LARGEST CAPITAL INVESTMENT in the City’s history.”

Included in the images is a chart that shows how our bills will increase over the next four years. (It’s designed to make you feel good about the sale that circumvented Voter Referendum.)

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image1-7The good news for me, I guess, is that I won’t be subject to a rate increase according to the City’s chart. Take a look at the ranges. Last month my usage was 3901. That number isn’t represented along with several hundred other folks who fall into the gap. Where do we fall? Are we on the higher end or the lower end?

 

Council member Brian Hester pointed out the inaccuracies in this chart one week ago at the last City council meeting and Mayor Hall promised to correct the information. Mr. Hester’s observation was ignored. I guess it wasn’t important enough to get it right before sharing it with the public.

If you ask me, this is a very irresponsible way of managing “THE LARGEST CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT in the City’s history.”

**EDIT** – A friend pointed out that current usage is determined by subtracting the “previous reading” from the “present reading.” Doing that gives me the mandatory usage of 1 unit. Although I’m using less than that currently at that residence, I guess I DO technically fall into a range. Note, however, that when I make an error, I correct it as soon as someone tells me. Thanks for the heads up!

**EDIT #2** – Part of the reason people are complaining about our City processes is that the information we get is often incomplete, inaccurate, or completely missing. The City’s Facebook Page now claims that there will never be a customer who falls into these “missing” ranges due to the rounding they use to determine usage. When Mr. Hester brought the apparent error up in the meeting, Mayor Hall agreed that it was in error (feel free to listen to the recording I documented in an earlier post). Thank goodness the City was quick to respond on the Facebook page – that’s a good thing. This process is NEEDLESSLY confusing.

At this point, some readers might wonder why I don’t just take this post down. It’s simple,  I think it’s more useful to have a public acknowledgement of how folks have to try to figure out what’s going on.

Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

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