March 21, 2017
- This legislation stands in stark contrast to Home Rule (the right for local self-government).
- Iowa Code Chapter 388, states that a city may establish or dispose of a city utility, but it is subject to the approval of the voters of the city.
- This legislation takes the right to vote out of the hands of the citizens of Des Moines, West Des Moines, and Urbandale.
- In a recent survey of the Des Moines metro, 88% of registered voters said that people who live in the community should have final say over whether to remove an independent utility.
- The poll results mirror the results of the West Des Moines vote in 2003, on whether or not to dissolve its independent water utility.
Regionalization is already Underway and should not be forced
- Safe drinking water is a public health issue, and should not be gambled.
- Regionalization needs to be done in a thoughtful and meaningful manner.
- Des Moines Water Works is open to and has been actively participating in regionalization discussions for the past few years.
- It is not necessary for the legislature to create a study committee to examine regionalization because one already exists. It’s called CIRDWC – Central Iowa Regional Drinking Water Commission.
- CIRDWC has already completed a regionalization study, and is now in the final stages of a 20-year forecast of the water needs in central Iowa.
- CIRDWC already provides every metro community with a seat at the table. This legislative action would not only duplicate and confuse ongoing efforts, but also disregard the work that has already be done.
HF 484 is a mess
- It takes the management of delivering safe and affordable drinking water from professionals and puts in the hands of politicians.
- HF 484, as written, has no plan, no mechanism for funding, no assurance that technical experts will be involved.
- The bill has been changed numerous times; it has had new amendments and language added and then deleted. The 500,000 people who rely on Des Moines Water Works have been left in the dark.
- Water utility boards were set up independent from city councils for a reason – to protect a public health necessity from politics. Simply stated, it is an independent local water utility owned by its customers and it works, and has worked for 100 years.
Posted by: Laura Sarcone 9 CommentsLabels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, HF 484, Water Works Posted in Board of Trustees, History, Infrastructure, Public Policy, Source Water, Water Quality, Water Treatment