Tuesday, June 24 2014, 12:40 AM CDT
Central Point Feels Medford Charges Too Much for Water
By Aaron Nilsson/KTVL.comJACKSON COUNTY, Ore. -- Several cities in the Rogue Valley buy water from the Medford Water Commission, but Central Point said the commission's prices are too high.
Medford Water Commission manager, Larry Rains, said Medford gets its water from a spring source near Butte Falls.
Eagle Point, Central Point, Jacksonville, Phoenix and Talent all purchase that water from the commission.
Rains said the commission charges those cities almost equally the same.
A chart he provided shows those cities charged between five dollars and 82 cents and five dollars and 91 cents for water service up to 10 thousand gallons per month.
Rains said each city then has the right to add charges on top of that based on what their needs are.
“When you get your water bill, the city has purchased that from the water commission, but have other costs to add on. Their reservoirs, distribution lines because we don’t own that. Your city, like others, have to maintain that,” Rains said.
Rains said he understands some people claim Medford charges other cities too much for water.
He said the commission charges Medford residents between 44 cents and 65 cents up to five thousand gallons per month.
Customers outside of Medford are charged 64 cents in the summer.
“They are all different costs and loans they have to pay for things and they evaluate it on their own,” Rains said.
Central Point’s mayor, Hank Williams, said his city is not treated fairly.
Rains said the water commission charges wholesale to other cities and Williams said they pay retail.
He said the city pays around 600 thousand dollars per year for water.
“It’s water that costs them about 200 – 250 thousand dollars to produce. We’re a little upset they’re making more of a profit than they need to on us,” Williams said.
Williams said the water is great and may be some of the best water in the nation, but they want a reduced cost for their water.
“I think they want to have the cheapest water in the U.S. and they are pretty close to it. I am not sure if I blame them for wanting to have cheap water. I just want them to be more fair in how they get there,” Williams said.
The water commission is currently going through a third-party water rate study and rates most likely will change once that is completed.