To the editor:
Ever wonder how valuable city drinking water is? The answer varies dramatically depending on how special you are.
At the “not-so-special” and costliest end of the rate spectrum, we find the lowly homeowner who pays top dollar for water usage that is highly regulated and rather uncharitably shut off when a bill is overdue. At the opposite, “very special” and highly-preferred end of the rate spectrum, we find Quail Run golfers who, remarkably, get all the water they want absolutely free of charge. No big deal you think? Let’s check and see.
According to a recent Telegram article, in 2016, a relatively wet year, Quail Run golf course required 74 million gallons of precious tap water for irrigation; hardly an Energy Star-compliant use of such a valuable resource. Had Quail Run been required to pay what lowly homeowners pay to water grass, its 2016 water bill would have been around $100,000. Also worth noting, if we assume the average annual residential water bill is, say $300, Quail Run consumed the equivalent of 333 households worth of tap water for free in 2016; makes you feel really good about restricted-flow showers, doesn’t it?
If any of this is bothersome, consider taking up golf. Yes, from the perspective of Quail Run golfers who enjoy this very special treatment, having unaware taxpayers pay Quail Run’s water bill the past 25 years has been positively awesome. This entirely “off-the-books” wealth transfer has saved every regular municipal golfer about $250 every year for 25 years. How very kind and generous of our city council, provided of course that you’re a golfer.
So, on behalf of Columbus’ municipal golf community, I want to take this seasonally appropriate opportunity to express deep and sincere appreciation for local officials who have overseen the fleecing of so many uninformed taxpayers for so many years.