Thursday, August 11, 2011

To Cool or Not to Cool

It is Thursday once again and we  have moved on to a little cooler weather. Over night it seems like we went from 100+ degree temperatures and drought like conditions to rain and mid 80's. It is very welcome relief and leaves me wondering if fall is going to hit us like summer did. One day it was 40 and then next it was 90. We really had no spring and possibly we will have no gradual easing into fall. Just a rapid jump from 100 to 50. Stranger things have happened. Tonight is also the last night that I am free to be out on a Thursday night. School starts next week, Lindsay is leaving and I go back to spending my weeknights running kids wherever they need to be. Tonight will be bittersweet for all those reasons and the fact that yesterday would have been my 16th wedding anniversary. There is no real sadness like in past years. Now it is more memories....mostly happy and just the need to put the past to rest. Don't know if that day will ever come, but I do know that Tim would have wanted nothing for me but happiness..... and moping over what I cannot change would not have made him very happy with me. So this is me....trying to move on.

Today is To Like or Not to Like day. Last week was a like and this week is a great big...huge even....dislike. In fact just thinking about this can put me in a bad and frustrated mood. What am I referring to? Why my electric/water bill. We get our water from another town and our electricity from the city. In my opinion the rates are pretty darn high year round, but summer is a killer. Once hot weather hit....our electric bill skyrocketed with the turning on of the air conditioning. What was a bill that ranged from $180-$225/mo. suddenly turns into a bill that ranges from $400-$600/mo. Granted there is water included in that and that is another thing that gets my goat. We get our water from a town called Augusta. Even in summers when rain is more abundant, we are constantly having to conserve water, but this year has been ridiculous. Even with no watering or excessive usage...the water part of the bill is stupidly expensive. Why?

What makes it worse is there are really no concessions for people on fixed incomes, people who are laid off or people in crisis or having extenuating circumstances. They used to let you make payment arrangements (and even those were pretty stingy) but as of last year....those have been stopped. If your bill is not paid in full by the 5th of the month, a service charge is added on. If not paid by the 20th, you can guarantee your water and electricity will be shut off the 21st. There is absolutely no leeway. Trying to talk to someone who can help you when you are in a tight spot down there is impossible. Many might just need a few extra days or a 30 day extension to get caught up, but you are promptly directed to one of the "charities" in town. For those with pride...that is not an easy thing to do and with many of the charities....the red tape and personal information that you have to give out is arduous and embarrassing. If we weren't stuck with having the city as a middle man and actually went through KGE, we would have many more options that Mulvane does not offer.

KGE is really good about setting up payment plans as well putting people who request it on an average monthly billing. In some months it is a little higher, but in months like June and July are not paying the outrageous $400 minimum bills. You would think that Mulvane being a small town, would cater to its citizens more and have more of a small town hospitality than it does. Instead the city seems to take an awful lot without giving much back. Especially in our current economy, people could use every little bit of help they can get. Payment plans or least through the summer months would benefit more than a few people, but the city might lose a couple of dollars. Apparently it comes down to dollars over the welfare of the citizens. Good old Mulvane is just as greedy and money hungry as any city and the city itself appears to have a heart of stone.

Most days, I am proud to be from a small town. Most days.....I love Mulvane. But when I have to pay a $400+ electric/water bill and know that the next one will be even higher, I am both saddened that I don't have the income to keep up and ashamed that those in this town that could help ease the burden of the citizens even temporarily.... seem to turn a blind eye to anything except the almighty dollar. What I do not like this week is how the city of Mulvane handles their electric billings....especially in the summer. If anyone is listening.....there is definitely a need for change.

Well, here is hoping that your Thursday is cool, comfortable and a reminder that there is just one more day until the weekend. Happy Thursday all!

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