by Bob Shamo –
The Association’s total water usage -– building infrastructure plus residential units — is paid for by assessments. Last year, water cost Park Tower owners about $327,700, or between $250 and $785 of each unit’s assessment, depending on size and location in the building.
City water has gone up 15% each of the past three years. While those huge base rate increases are over for now, a new measure will allow the cost of water to go up by amounts equal to increases in the cost of living.
In addition, the City has tacked on a new tax (to fund City pensions) that will add 30% to our water bill, in 7% increments, over the next five years.
It’s been suggested that the building install water meters in each unit, with the hope that residents will use water more frugally if they have to pay the City directly for every gallon they use.
Good idea but impractical, says management. Because of the building’s construction, each unit would require a minimum of four meters, two for each room with hot and cold running water. It would require about 3,224 water meters, procured and installed at a cost of, roughly, $1,000 each!
That cost includes buying the meters, accessing locations, opening walls, two hours of plumbing per meter, returning walls to original condition, periodic meter reading and billing for the 742 separate units.
Clearly, water is going to cost us dearly going forward. Owners’ assessments will increase accordingly and very possibly cause landlords to raise the rent for their tenants.
Bob’s story is based information from property manager Tim Patricio.
See Reed Evan’s interesting suggestions for conserving water, also in this issue of TowerTalk.