Water Revenue Diverted
While Rockaway residents have been shocked by the staggering unpaid water bills at Dayton Beach Park, we may have missed that we are all facing a 14.5 percent increase in water and sewer charges in July.
While we usually blame increases on needed improvements in our supply system, sewers and treatment plants, the New York City Independent Budget Office found a $55 million diversion of revenue to other city agencies including the Department of Sanitation (for street cleaning) and the Fire Department (for hydrant inspection).
Jim Gennaro, Chair of the City Council Environmental Protection Committee opposes use of the water bills to collect funds for other city services. He has been holding Town Hall meetings to inform the public of this diversion of their water fees.
At a meeting sponsored by the Queens Civic Congress, which inclcontinued udes a number of Rockaway civic groups, Gennaro pointed out that Water Board members are controlled by the mayor. Gennaro is encouraging residents opposed to the 14.5 percent increase to contact the mayor's office.