Are new meters necessary?

Date: 8/29/2013

Chicopee’s mayor’s continued crusade to spend $800,000 for single stream containers and $8 million for “modern” water meters should continue to fall on deaf city council ears.

Research shows that approximately only nine of 351 Massachusetts cities and towns have the program, some requiring residents to purchase the totes. None have figures available to support the claimed savings.

According to the Department of Public Works (DPW), the landfill will be capped by 2017. Before purchasing totes, the DPW should provide the council with a phase-out plan for the landfill and what the city does afterwards. Trash fees, anyone?

Part of the “loss” by the Water Department should be eliminated the $1.8 million bond to repair the Country Club’s irrigation system. City wide, what do leaking century old pipes add to the losses? The department needs to provide facts and actual, not estimated, savings before asking residents to support additional bonding.

From January to June, excluding EPA mandated sewer upgrades and the renovation of the old high school, the council has approved approximately $9 million in bonding and spent approximately $6 million from the stabilization and free cash accounts – all well over the annual spending budget. Fiscal conservatism?

Chicopee should learn from the federal government and many bankrupt cities that deficit spending is a crushing weight on taxpayers’ shoulders.

Jim Raschilla