I just saw this fabulous story in the Free Press. The Free Press belongs to the Key West Citizen family of newspapers, so let’s hope it’s not fake news. Those guys lie like it’s their job.
After learning that the district will receive $3,333,333 in 2017-18 Stewardship Grant funds from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and that those funds could now be used to pay down debt, some commissioners weighed further reducing debt incurred from building Key Largo’s wastewater treatment infrastructure while others proposed reducing rates for property owners.
I’m glad the state is finally backing off their ridiculous, senseless, dumb-ass, crony-friendly, fraud/waste-encouraging, efficiency-punishing wastewater funding policies. They must be enjoying the fresh air and sunshine after extracting their heads from their butt holes at long last. Breath it in, guys. See how nice that is.
Using the first $17 million would have made a huge difference for Key Largo ratepayers. The $3 million is way too late and way too little to really help much, but it’s something. Since this is grant money, the District can pay down their bank loan without incurring a penalty. That will at least shorten the duration of the loan payments. But, like I said, it’s probably not enough to provide any immediate financial relief.
The key to lowering rates is to significantly reduce annual debt service payments. That can be accomplished by paying down a lot of debt all at once – ie. what using the $17 million for that purpose would have accomplished.
Or by having a guaranteed revenue stream of a certain amount. Theoretically, the swap agreement should produce a guaranteed revenue stream. But nobody with a lick of sense trusts the county to stick to the agreement. I sure as hell don’t. My assumption is that’s why the Sewer Board hasn’t even made a plan to reduce rates yet. They can’t rely on Monroe County to follow through and they know it. Better to play it safe. Still, they need to have a road map. They need to listen to Peter Rosasco and they need to do a rate study and they need to map out major system replacements and repairs so they get it right.
Monroe County’s next payment on the swap agreement is due April 1. We’ll see if they follow through. If they can pay $425,000 for $300,00 worth of animal shelter services then they must have money running out their ears. Just don’t expect them to use it for anything sensible or non-fraudulent.
Another amazing positive development is that Steve Gibbs has stopped openly lying about the effect of the swap agreement.
“When I came on board in 2012, we had $81 million in debt. Over five years, we paid $48 million in debt. Soon we will be under $35 [million] in debt. My question is, when can we start reducing rates? That’s why I’m on this board,” Commissioner Steve Gibbs said.
Notice Gibbs is no longer pretending that the $2 million in county payments has made a dent in the $81 million debt. Hurray! Another rectal-cranial inversion improvement!
I wonder if the tea leaves are trying to tell us something. Is the corrupt Monroe County/FKAA “partnership” losing influence over gullible state officials? Is a dishonest Sewer Commissioner member finally abandoning his strategy of misleading the ratepayers?
I realize this is an awful lot to hope for but maybe, just maybe, things are finally looking up.