Since Mayor Larry Jones told the city council, and a packed chambers full of visitors, it would cost $25- million—approximately $100-per-month on water bills—to fix Rockdale’s “red water” problems, something interesting, and more than a little amazing, has happened.
There are people willing to pay it. Not a lot, mind you, but the fact that anyone at all wants to essentially make the equivalent of a low-end car payment to get rid of red water ought to show just how deep some residents’ feelings are about the topic.
The Reporter runs a weekly poll on its website. Last week the question was “Would you be willing to pay $100 more per month on your water bill to fix Rockdale’s red water problem?”
Frankly, we thought this might be our first unanimous poll. Instead, one person in six who responded said they favored it! And this poll drew a pretty healthy response.
It’s a small sample, and there’s nothing scientific about that poll, of course, but that doesn’t explain the person who called The Reporter and asked “where he could sign up for that $100 per month bill to get rid of the red water.”
Now, obviously, nobody has proposed anything of the kind, nor does it seem likely. The mayor laid out those figures to show the magnitude of the expense believed to be involved. That’s all.
Two observations. One. Many of the people who are demanding a red water solution are relative newcomers to Rockdale and to its water. They aren’t inclined to a “that’s the way its always been” attitude.
Two. When was the last time you actually heard people go on record saying the equivalent of “tax me?”
Of course that’s strictly not true, a water bill is not a tax to be collected and spent at the discretion of the governing body. It goes to a specific place for a specific purpose.
And yet, amazingly, some people are saying they would pay $1,200 a year to get rid of the red water, once and for all.—M.B.