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Water and Sewer Rates

According to Longmeadow's new water/sewer rates, the higher volume users, who place the most demand on the system, will pay a higher rate for the volume of water used. As a town, we have always spread out costs evenly to cover large and small users. It's a spirit of cooperation by good neighbors a shared responsibility a sense of community.

I called a selectman about this new arrangement, and he said eventually large users of water will cause us to put a strain on future capacity. He felt it was fair that people who want to use more water should pay a penalty.

I thought good citizens shared costs for public utility services, even if not used proportionately. If our Select Board is correct that those who put a strain on a system have an obligation to pay a higher rate, how do you rationalize the huge discrepancy in the strain placed on our school system by families with several children? I pay the same rate of taxes as my neighbors though I haven't had a child in school since 1977. I put zero strain on the system but pay my fair share. I believe this is the way a community works and am not asking for a change in funding the schools. But I am asking for a change in the new distribution of fees for water and sewer.

You announced a 15 percent increase in average water/sewer fees, but I have found no one who has paid under a 50 percent increase. Figures I have show FY07 total revenue at $2.44 million and FY08 total at $3.86 million. This is an increase of $1.41 million or 58 percent. We would like to see the back-up documentation for these huge increases from other entities. They're hard to believe. Not that I don't trust the figures, but as Ronald Reagan used to say - TRUST BUT VERIFY!

Sam Altman

Longmeadow