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Friday, February 10, 2012

Kansas City MO "Couldn't Afford" to Keep Track of City's Water Main Breaks

In what HAS to be the most incredible piece of city mis-management I've heard in many years- television station KCTV-5 (located in Fairway KS) recently "paid $850" to find out just how many water mains had broken in the Metro's core city in 2011- according to this story on KCTV's Web site and screen-capped in the image shown here.

KCTV had to pay- because- according to a quote in the story from the Water Department's Director Terry Leeds- the department has been operating "with a lot less staff" and  the water department didn't have "the resources to deal with (the water main breaks) and "keep track" of the "more than 1700" main breaks in 2011.

Here at CSW- one person (moi) "tracks" (logs actually) easily four times that number of police- fire EMS and other emergency calls in any typical year using simple-to-set-up Microsoft Word files and Director Leeds has the cajones to tell the public he doesn't have the "(one) staff" or "the (one) resource(s)?"

KCTV-5's most-excellent and revealing story (if this is a February "sweeps" piece- it's a damn good and informative one) also goes on to tell us that the COST to Kansas Citians for these main breaks in just the past two years are "more than $10.6-million." 

That figure doesn't even include the "$1.1-million" paid out to home and business owners who have filed legal claims against the city for damages to their properties caused by the rupturing water mains.

In addition- beginning with the May water bills- KCTV reports that the "average $30" water bill will increase $3.50 per month (this is ON TOP of sewer rate increases folks) to pay for the city's failure to maintain this basic civic infrastructure.

In cities like Raytown and Lee's Summit that buy Kansas City water- that increase will be passed on to their citizens as well.

Kansas City gives (pays) out tens of millions of dollars per year for corporate welfare (TIFs- etc) and Kansas Citians recently voted to extend the city's controversial 'Earnings Tax' as well as a sales tax increase for the Swope Park Zoo.

How long can we afford to keep electing ineffective city councils and mayors?

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