The Eye has learned that the intrepid councilor from District 6 is eying all of the fixtures that use water in your home in a proposed bill that will come before the council March 5th. The ordinance (O-06-41) if passed, will require the buyer of virtually any home to replace all of the non-low flow water fixtures (you know the kind that actually work) with their low flow equivalents within 90 days of purchase and file a Low Water Use Fixture Certificate with the County Clerk. By the way, if you don't you can be charged $100 per fixture, per month, for each month past the first 3, that you are found to be non-compliant.
Now... that doesn't sound so bad. After all we live in a desert! And besides, it doesn't take effect until 2010! The Eye would argue that you couldn't be more wrong and you'll be finding that out the next time you try and buy or sell a house that is required to be retrofitted, meaning any home not built in the last 5 or so years. No matter how you slice it, this ordinance will add approximately $700 to $1,000 to the price of your home.
(Sidebar)Water is an important commodity in Albuquerque, we've been fighting over it for years now. We've also had voluntary conservation programs in place for over a decade. In fact, the City of Albuquerque website claims that we've reduced water consumption by 34% since 1995. If that weren't enough, we're now subjected to sin taxes for over use in the form of a "conservation charge," and both time of day, and day of the week watering restrictions. And if THAT weren't enough we've got the water police armed with their cameras and citations to charge us if we have the temerity to let water spray onto a sidewalk.
Ever notice how the city loves these unfunded mandates?
(Sidebar)So what's the deal? As a community we've done an outstanding job conserving water. We're being told that the San Juan - Chama diversion project will be coming on line in the next year or so and will provide enough water for another 80 years. Why do we need Martin Heinrich in our bathrooms? The fact is, we don't.
Has anyone noticed that despite an extraordinarily wet July and record snows this winter, we haven't heard a thing about rescinding the water restrictions imposed by the City/County Water Authority? Don't hold your breath.
The Council has gotten it in their heads that they need to control everything in our lives. It doesn't even matter if it makes any sense. How long before they decide that everyone should use florescent bulbs, and stop eating french fries or ice cream? How long before they decide what kind of car you can drive, or where it's safe for you to work? It's for your own good! Sounds a bit Orwellian, but it's a real danger. Every time these knuckleheads decide to do something like this, they take away one of your choices, they take away one of your freedoms.
Ronald Reagan said "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" Watch out anytime the city mandates something for your own good... it usually costs you money and freedom.