2017-06-01 / Letters to the Editor

Just vote “no” June 5 on South Pond dam repairs

To the editor:

Jamestown Water and Sewer customers know their bills are spiraling out of control, making the cost of water here a burden for many. By my accounting, this year our average water bills will rise nearly 50 percent from 2010 levels for the same number of gallons.

Controlling water and sewer costs is a huge challenge in town. Aging infrastructure needs to be replaced. The $13 million dollar debt from several years ago must be paid. State regulations result in exploding compliance costs. The tab is paid by the 1,500 or so water customers in town.

About 6,000 people live in Jamestown and we welcome thousands of visitors each year. Dramatic changes during the last decade mean Jamestown is long overdue for a reality check on the cost challenge of providing the water and sewer service. These services enable the entire town to function, supporting the whole community’s economic and social quality of life.

Tell the town council no on water rate increases. Go to the financial town meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, June 5 at Lawn Avenue School. Vote “no” on Resolution 5 for dam repairs at South Pond. The pond is a multiple-use town resource managed for wildlife habitat, wetlands protection, groundwater recharge and emergency response in addition to providing back up water to North Pond reservoir. The town manager has stated that only water customers will pay the full cost of the $550,000. bond for the dam repair. How unfair is that?

The town desperately needs a realistic long-range capital, facilities and finance plan for the water and sewer system, not a series of short term pass through charges to the water customers.

Katherine Maxwell
Narragansett Avenue

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