Letters to the Editor

Thursday, October 3, 2013
By Transcript Staff

Winthrop is number one

Dear Editor:

Let’s set the record straight !!! The conversation leading to this November 5th election started off with a topic that we have been talking and debating about for a decade and it still nothing has been resolved by either the former Selectmen or our current council. I am talking about your rising tide of water and sewer bills. Winthrop’s water and sewer cost have been above the average to comparable communities for years with little to no challenges to the MWRA.

The following information and numbers were formulated by the engineering firm of Tighe&Bond who tracks the water and sewer consumption and usage throughout Massachusetts as well as neighboring states. You may find the information quite revealing how the MWRA may have excessively burdened Winthrop property owners over other Massachusetts communities. We should probably be asking ourselves, WHY?  And there may be an answer to the many favors our leaders have requested of the MWRA. Then what needs to be done to MOTIVATE our Town officials to act on OUR behalf instead of speculating that some 25% = about  (4500 to 5000) citizens are somehow BORROWING WATER at the rest of our expense.

Right now our town’s only solution to the high water and sewer costs is to add millions of OUR dollars to OUR already overburdened water and sewer cost with a system that is easy for them. I guess it might be said that I fall into that 25% category of appropriating water without paying MWRA fees whereas I draw water off the roof of my home to feed and nourish my land with God’s gift of rain water which I store in part from barrels I obtained from the Town of Winthrop. I guess this is payback. Let’s look at the facts.

The average sewer cost in Massachusetts for 2012 was $690.00 up from a 2010 sewer cost of $636.42 The sewer cost in Winthrop is posted by the engineering firm of Tighe&Bond at $998.00 which is 31% higher than the combined average Massachusetts cities and towns of similar population.

According to the engineering firm of Tighe&Bond report the average Massachusetts residence consumes ( 87.9 HCF = hundred cubic feet of water annually)  in comparison to Winthrop’s average residential water consumption which is ( 61.4 HCF = hundred cubic feet of water annually than ALL water and sewer users in Massachusetts when averaged out.

The average total household cost of combined water and calculated sewer charges is $1231.92 Did you know Winthrop has the exclusive privilege of having the highest combined water and sewer cost of all the cities and towns of similar population in Massachusetts with an averages household cost of $1597.00. That is a 23% higher than all the cities and towns with similar population.  Congratulations to us.

That being the case, ask yourself why are we paying an average of $1597.00 per year for water and sewer while resident averages in other cities and towns are only paying $1231.92 ?  Something is wrong!

WHY?  Could the answer be in the many favors our elected officials have requested of the MWRA over the years, thinking they would (like a good neighbor) eat the costs. Or could it be they just might pass the cost on a few bucks here a few % points over there being somewhat painless until reality hits us between the eyes, Do we think the ZERO % ¾ million dollar loan from MWRA to install new meters in all our homes didn’t come with a hidden cost like water rate increase. Just look at your most recent water / sewer bill then compare it to last years water bill and I can assure you there will be a few new % points added to the cost of your water.

Just for the heck of it I calculated my water / sewer cost from 2003 which increased by $989.00 by 2012, meanwhile my total water / sewerage usage decreased by 15 %.  Don’t we deserve to be treated equally to other cities and towns in Mass. Town leaders get our rates in line with our usage!!!!!!!

Respectfully Submitted

Alex Mavrakos  CFBG

Congratulations

Dear Editor,

A big thank you and congratulations to Winthrop Town Council; Peter Gill, Phil Boncore, Jim Letterie, Nick DelVento, Larry Powers, Linda Calla, Paul Varone, Russ Sanford, Craig Mael, Town Manager, Jim McKenna, and DPW Director Steve Calla for a productive last couple of years! There are many visible improvements around the Town for all to appreciate and enjoy and the news of the “free cash” that was announced at the Town Council meeting, September 17, on WCAT(a must see), was music to my ears. Celebrate your many accomplishments!

Our Town is a beautiful place in many ways and our citizens are a significant part of that very landscape. A positive atmosphere is imperative for all to strive, as well as, mutual respect to set the tone for the business at hand. It is evident our Town leaders are communicating effectively and it is refreshing to smile at our successes. May we all continue to encourage and motivate each other every day.

Sheryl Howard

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