Discriminating between waterlines on “public” and “private” roads

Published 9:12am Wednesday, September 25, 2013

When we revised the former waterline extension policy, we did require that developers of new subdivisions pay the entire cost of extending waterlines to, and within, the new subdivisions.  That is a reasonable distinction, since it’s to enhance the value of the developer’s lots and so the developer can sell them for a higher price.

But we felt that citizens in existing subdivisions, some that have been in place 40 or more years, should be treated just the same as any other Polk County citizen.

Is this new policy yet another example of the majority’s “us vs. them” mentality? A campaign to discriminate against those they don’t think are “their people,” or “their supporters?”

Think about it. Few of Polk County’s native families live in subdivisions. The folks in subdivisions are mainly “move-ins,” families who have moved here from somewhere else.  Is the majority trying to funnel the monies collected from all of the taxpayers only to the people the majority appears to consider “their people?”

Interestingly, Commissioner Ted Owens huffed during the waterline discussion that “if you’re going to charge one, you’ve got to charge all.”

But then he contradicted his own principle, by turning around and voting to charge citizen/taxpayers on publicly maintained roads only 40 percent of the cost while charging citizen/taxpayers on privately maintained roads 100 percent of the cost of extending waterlines.

Discriminating between homeowners who happen to live along privately maintained roads, as compared with homeowners who happen to live along state-maintained roads makes no sense, and is inappropriately discriminatory.

- Renée McDermott, Tryon


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