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Letters to the Editors

New sewer project ignores areas with need

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 9, 2001

Editor: I don't understand the reasoning behind the city of New Port Richey choosing the Grand View Park subdivision or the other subdivision, considering they are miles away from the sewer plant. There are homes that were and are directly affected by the continued polluting of Cross Bayou, who are also on septic systems. This would be the Treasure Island subdivision. I share my property line with the city, but I am on the unincorporated side -- the area supposed to be targeted by the new project.

Our homes have not been included in the sewer project. We are within 100 feet of the sewer plant and we have to deal with the sludge and stench created by the offending effluent. Why can't the city just dredge this canal and Bayou with the money instead? Why can't we be connected to the sewer system? We are the closest to this plant, pay some of the costs for its operation, deal with the unpleasant odors and diminished property values. We should be included in that sewer project.

We have been told that we were going to be hooked up to the sewer system for years, yet nothing has ever happened. Why is the city looking for hookups so far away from the sewer plant, when there is a need at the plant's own back yard?
-- David A. Henry, New Port Richey

Development ignores safety, health concerns

Editor: What thought was given in regards to the development being built on Alternate U.S. 19 in Holiday? Not only the huge usage and consumption of water, but the traffic congestion that will be even worse than it is now?

What about the safety of children living so near to Lake Nash and the school buses and other commercial and residential vehicles that will be in and out of this complex onto a two-lane road?

Notice that these buildings are in the evacuation zone and are all wooden structures. Will they withstand the big one if it happens?

It just seems the County Commission doesn't care what effect these developments are doing to the health, safety or welfare of our communities. Are they so eager to spend the allotted funds from state housing programs, all in the name of progress, or is it for the money in salary gains?
-- Virginia White, Holiday

Utility customers must take more active role

Editor: I recently received my electric bill from Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative (WREC). Included was an official notice pertaining to the annual meeting and information about bylaw proposals. Specifically, the notice makes reference to a proposed amendment to Article VII, Section 8.02, Patronage Capital in Connection with Furnishing Electric Energy, and Article VII, Section 8.03, Patronage Refunds in Connection with Furnishing Other Services.

How does Section 8.02 relate to Section 8.03? I would like to see WREC operate more efficiently and it certainly makes good sense to do away with small balances, but what does this have to do with patronage refunds? Will passage of the amended articles benefit WREC or the membership?

While WREC fails to provide a simple explanation for amending the bylaws, it does provide a simple explanation for the fuel increase. As the cost of fuel goes up, so do our electric bills. What about less profit for the utility? I am not saying any utility needs to lose money, but perhaps they can do with less profit, something every private business is faced with in today's economy.

I am an active WREC member and attend annual meetings because I am a part owner of my utility. The wonderful thing about belonging to an electric cooperative is that the utility is owned by the membership. We have more than 100,000 members, yet last year we managed to have fewer than 300 people in attendance. Thus, an official meeting was not conducted.

Electric utility deregulation is imminent and we must protect our interest by attending these important meetings to obtain answers to questions and to actively voice our opinions. I encourage every WREC member to review the annual report closely. It is your responsibility as a member.Perhaps the people of California would be better off if they had taken an active role in the decision-making process. I hope to see everyone at the meeting this year.
-- Mary Richards, Spring Hill

Customer treatment leaves much to be desired

Editor: For corporate arrogance Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative Inc. must hold the record. On March 22, my wife received an unsigned form letter on its letterhead dated March 19, bristling with animosity and clearly intended to scare deadbeats. It stated that her check for service had been returned unpaid by her bank. The letter demanded instant payment (24 hours) or service would be shut off the next working day.

The letter was in error as she had not sent them a check because for several years her account has been paid electronically by her bank. We had recently transferred our previous accounts to a new consolidated account and the bank apparently failed to include Withlacoochee in the list of automatic payments. I explained this by telephone to a woman of iron inflexibility in customer service and also that the error was not my wife's fault. A touch of a computer button would have revealed that there had not been a delinquency in the 10 years she has been a customer. The "iron lady" was not moved and reluctantly agreed not to shut off the power until my wife took up this matter with the bank that afternoon. Even the bank representative was not treated with courtesy and was required to deliver a check to the headquarters that day.

Another example of corporate arrogance surfaced when I tried to have the name of the account changed to her married name of Farrington, which the customer service woman refused to do. I would think that the state would be interested in the arbitrary and high handed manner in which WREC treats its reliable customers.
-- Robert Farrington, New Port Richey

News reports show animal cruelty on the rise

Editor: In the month of March, five acts of cruelty were in the St. Petersburg Times.

Man drags dog behind truck; horrible death.

Someone poured gas on a cat, tied it to a tree and set it on fire.

Woman scalded five cats and then beats them with a club.

Bubba's radio show castrated a boar in parking lot, then slit its throat. Thepeople roared with approval. They enjoyed it. Bubba said he did nothing wrong. March 31, he was back on 98 Rock. This must stop.My suggestion is a first-degree felony and $10,000 fine. Cruelty to animals is how Ted Bundy and others started.
-- Larry Burn, Holiday

Residents' welfare should outweigh development

Editor: What will happen in the near future? Will I have enough water to drink, shower and cook in the near future?

I, like many Pasco citizens, have done my best to conserve in the use of fresh water. A big question keeps coming to mind: Just who in office is listening to the general public? We wonder who is running the Pasco County Commission. Just how big a contribution did the developers make to them? As a past county commissioner from up north, I listened to the general public. Both you and I know you can curtail development when it comes to the welfare of the county residents.
-- Gus Harris,New Port Richey

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