Editor: As a county resident dependent upon Leesburg for water, I am completely in favor of the Board of Supervisors action to allow Loudoun Water to provide service in the area.
Statements by the Leesburg representatives indicate the real concern is revenue, not water service. Currently, the town of Leesburg legally gouges county residents, forcing them to pay approximately 40 percent more for potable water than town residents. Several years ago, the local press reported that the town decided not to proceed with annexation of certain residential areas because they would lose significant revenue if the annexed residents were to pay town water rates.
One definition of a public utility is that it is a business established to provide essential services to the public at large within its area of operations, and is regulated by the appropriate government entities to ensure a reasonable level of service at a fair price. The Town of Leesburg sets rates for both county and town residents, without county involvement. County residents have no choice if they live close to the town and want public water.
The best solution for residents of both Leesburg and Loudoun County would be to combine infrastructures and stop using county residents as revenue plugs for the town, bringing cost and service efficiencies to all. Perhaps Loudoun County should consider the example of Fairfax County’s acquisition of Falls Church water utility—the public benefited.
Michael Vermillion, Leesburg