WATER WOES: Possible Price Break For Community Gardens

community garden

A Des Moines organization that helps feed the hungry is asking for a little help of its own.

The Des Moines Community Gardens is made of 12-gardens around the metro. All of the food grown is donated to area food pantries and neighborhood associations.

In years past the community gardens were only required to pay for the water they used which amounted to about $185 a year.

This year, in addition to the cost of water, Des Moines Water Works is requiring a monthly $50 availability fee and a $650 deposit for the water meter.

“$650 in April is a lot of money. That’s when our greatest expense is with getting new tools, seeds, plants, mulch, compost, top soil all that so all our cost comes up front and that’s when we would be getting the meters too,” Ralph Chiodo, who runs the community garden as a part of his Forest Avenue Outreach program, explained.

But the group may be in for a price break.

“If we were to look at the availability fee because of the size of your connections, 3/4inch I believe, that there will be an opportunity for a price break there. You’re not going to get it free and you’re not going to get away from the deposit,” Water Works CEO Bill Stowe responded.

The price break on the availability fee won’t happen in time for this growing season.

The Des Moines Water Works board is in the process of reevaluating its rules and regulations. The price break would come once that is complete, likely in time for next year’s growing season.


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