City of Bondurant Getting Rid of Discounts for Senior Citizens

BONDURANT, Iowa -- Following a recent audit, the City of Bondurant wants to get rid of discounts on water and garbage rates for senior citizens.

The city says it's not a revenue issue, but a matter of complying with state law. That means senior citizens in the community will have to pay more than they're used to. The discounts have been in effect in Bondurant for more than a decade.

"It`s just another example of politics trying to take money away from the seniors. I believe that they`ve earned the right to the discounts that they get," said local resident Mark Vannoy.  "When you`re a senior citizen,...and you`re living on a fixed income. I mean every dollar counts."

On Monday, people lit up Bondurant's facebook page with comments in reaction to the news that the city is looking to get rid of senior discounts for garbage and water rates, using words like absurd, stupid, sad, ridiculous, dumb, pathetic, asinine, embarrassment, and unbelievable to describe their reactions to the city's decision.

Jennifer Cole wrote, "This is not discrimination. Most seniors live on a fixed income. I think they deserve a discount."

"I can understand why people are upset. What we`re trying to do is follow the requirements of the state law, as we are being advised by our city attorney," said City Administrator Mark Arentsen. Iowa code 388.6 states, in part, "a city utility or a combined utility system may not provide use or service at a discriminatory rate."

The city says 64 customers receive the discounted water availability charge of $3.57. Their monthly water charge will increase $2.53 to $6.10. Some customers would also see an increase in garbage rates by as much as $2.58 a month.

"I think they got to follow the letter of the law. I`ll back the city for doing what they have to do, but I feel sorry for the senior citizens that`s getting it taken away if they`ve been used to having it. I’m sure that everybody spends their money accordingly and they’re used to getting the discount. Well, I’m sure it’s a hardship for them," said local resident Lonny Wunn.