I read the article on the water rates in the Charlotte Sun on Dec. 14, and the escalation oft he rates over the next five years.

Am I surprised? Yes and no.

We have been snow-birding from Illinois to Florida for the last 18 plus years. We lived in Lemont, Illinois.

Lemont, Illinois, has its own water department. They provide water from two very deep wells and one shallow well that is used only if there is an emergency. The water department handles both water and sewage disposal. I believe the deep wells are into the Lake Superior underground stream. It may be in the Irontin Galesburg rock strata. Some villages go down 1,800 feet.

Lemont has a population of approximately 17,000 residents. The village dates back to the 1800s when they were noted for mining stone for building construction. The water pipes are old and gradually replaced as necessary in the old section of the village.

The water tastes better than the water out of the faucet in Punta Gorda.

The point I'm making is, in Lemont the last water bill I received from the Village of Lemont was for $50 for 7,000 gallons of water and sewer disposal. That is for two months (they bill two months at a time). Yes, that is a senior rate, which I believe is $2 a month discount. Charlotte County Utilities is $74 for 2, 000 gallons (one month). And yes, many residents in Lemont go south in the winter.

Perhaps it is time to bring in an expert from another state on how to improve the efficiency and lower the cost of bringing water to the residents with best practices.

I am concerned about the rates in Charlotte County for next year and the next five years.

James L. Rooney

Punta Gorda


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