Not enough time

They may have followed the letter of the law. The spirit? That’s another story.

The Bristol County Water Authority held a public hearing Thursday night to talk about what could amount to an effective 31 percent rate hike over the next five years. Almost nobody showed, though the meeting was publicized in these newspapers beforehand. More concerning than the lack of turnout at the hearing, though, was news that directors want to finalize any rate increase by January 9; after that day, several directors are leaving on vacation or for winter houses and won’t be available for a vote.

To this, we say: Are you kidding? Given such a large increase, we sincerely hope the authority does not rush in to instituting a new rate scale without giving the public an adequate chance to learn the facts, and speak its peace. Someone suggested at Thursday night’s hearing that water authority director Pam Marchand could write an op/ed in these papers stating her case for a rate hike. On behalf of the 50,000 residents who will soon be paying more for water, we would welcome it.

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3 Comments

  1. mra said:

    what’s the rush,we can wait till they return from their vacations and winter homes. they’ll be tanned and relaxed and ready to explain themselves.

  2. East Bay Patriots said:

    It is almost too funny to think that this is being rushed through because some of our appointed directors will be leaving on vacation in February…. But, alas, it is true. And there doesn’t seem to be much outrage from the public.

    One of the biggest outrages, to me, is that apparently the B&E report that we taxpayers paid good money for, and waited and waited for, has been deemed totally useless and not written by competent consultants who are familiar with the BCWA operation. If this is true, why were they picked? Or did they just not come up with the right answers. If you recall, they stated that NO rate increase should be required if the BCWA showed due diligence and took remedial steps to change existing conditions. WRONG ANSWER!!

  3. CM said:

    It’s curious that there is so little outrage this time. The last time they asked for a 12% increase (2 or 3 years ago), everyone was furious. I’ve never in my life seen utility rates rise so fast. I’m not even flushing the toilet every time I use it. I wasn’t at the meeting because I don’t have a car to get there, and it’s too far to go on my bicycle, and I couldn’t find a ride. Were the Blacks there? In my opinion, the state needs to step in and take over all the water authorities, and normalize the rates so that everyone (with perhaps the exception of Block Island, which is a special circumstance) is paying the same rates.

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