July 13, 2018

WE NEED ANSWERS to these questions before taking additional steps toward spending millions on another water tower and treatment plant in the Southwest sector:

1. Minnetrista’s new 2040 Comprehensive plan shows a total number of municipal water connections in 2015 as 1,648 but the commissioned study shows far fewer connections at 1,245 in 2015. We should have accurate data from 2015. Why are these numbers so different? When I see discrepancies like this it doesn’t give me confidence in our growth projections.

2. According to Minnetrista’s 2040 Comprehensive plan there has been a downward trend in Total per capita and Maximum Daily Water Demands for the past several years. Why does the commissioned study show Maximum Daily Per Capita Water use increasing by 78% in 2016 (from 198gpd to 353gpd)? Are these estimates or actual numbers, and if actual what was the cause of the dramatic rise?

3. Why are the Maximum Daily Demand numbers missing for 2011? All years preceding and post are there. We should have this number in our system.

4. If a new tower is built what would the estimated average cost be for city water users? What is the best case scenario (we reach growth projections anticipated) and worst case (we don’t). I’m asking for estimates, not actuals. I realize there are unknowns (interest rates, timeframe, construction costs, possible land acquisition) but we need to do a business case/risk analysis before going forward. Let’s identify the variables, plug estimates in and figure it out.

5. Will the cost for the new water tower and its maintenance be spread across all city water users or only those in the SW sector that are served by that system?

6. What is our break-even point, i.e., when we have enough new water connections and users to pay the debt service on the revenue bonds (money borrowed to build tower)?

7. How many new water connections are anticipated in the SW each year? What is the Average Water Use per connection in the SW? Have we asked the builders (Matamy, HP Holdings, etc) for their new construction estimates? It isn’t enough to just look at the total number of building permits throughout the entire city in projecting future growth and water use. Some of our past growth has occurred in other parts of the city. There is also the fact of diminishing land available for growth in the SW. Growth cannot be projected to continue steadily forever as it will undoubtedly diminish over time as this area reaches capacity.

8. Are we pulling annual water usage only on connections that were active for the entire year? If we’re not then the Average Daily Water Use Per Connection numbers are not accurate in the commissioned water study.

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