Sunday, August 17, 2014

L.A. Faces $15 Billion Bill as Pipes Spring Leaks: Cities

High debt, high taxes, high water rates, high sales taxes.  The tax payers are tapped out.  This is the face of a city that is destined for ruin.
About 240 miles of L.A.’s pipes are more than a century old, James McDaniel, senior assistant general manager of the Department of Water and Power, told the the City Council’s energy and environment committee on Aug. 6.

The utility replaces only about 18 miles of pipe per year rather than the 34 miles officials called for in 2012. McDaniel said managers want to be able to replace pipes at a rate of every 170 years -- which would be an improvement over the present change-out pace of every 315 years.

Garcetti, a Democrat elected last year after running on a “back to basics” platform, has said he doesn’t favor tax or water-rate increases to fund improvements, and he hasn’t proposed bond measures. He has said existing resources should be used more wisely.

As for the July 29 rupture, the cause was a bad joint, not an old pipe the city should have replaced, he said. Still, “we pay for this one way or another,” he told reporters Aug. 4. “If a main breaks, that cost comes back to ratepayers.”
Here is a proposal:  Pass a temporary tax but include a clause saying that if any councilman or other government worker votes to extend past a certain date he will immediately go to jail.

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