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Will Tewksbury Water Rates Triple In Coming Years?

New report indicates the price tag to fix the country's crumbling water infrastructure could top $1trillion.

When the Board of Selectmen meets tonight one of the topics in the report from Town Manager Richard Montuori will be the water and sewer enterprise funds and the accompanying rates for Fiscal Year 2013.

Montuori has stated candidly that residents can expect rate increases for the upcoming year. But if a new report from the American Water Works Association (attached PDF) is to be believed, things will get significantly worse over the next 25 years.

According to the report, the water infrastructure in some sections of the country is in desperate need of updating and the price tag could top $1 trillion. Communities that delay repairs will face greater costs. A story in the Washington Examiner, citing the AWWA report, said the water infrastructure repair costs could rise from $13 billion per year in 2013 to roughly by 2040.

According to the AWWA, the bill for these repairs will most likely be paid by residents in the form of water bills that could triple.

Montuori and DPW Superintendent Brian Gilbert have spoken repeatedly about the need to update water lines in most sections of Tewksbury. On several occasions, Gilbert has blamed water line ruptures on outdated piping.

Tonight's meeting is scheduled to begin at 7  p.m. at Town Hall.

Alex Ro February 28, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Pretty soon what we will pay for water monthly will be more than our mortgages. I say for the ones that need new pipes make them have a beterment fee. We had one for sewer so have one for those that need new water pipes. Pretty soon we will be back to outhouses.
Dave February 28, 2012 at 06:03 PM
You can see the difference between the public sector and the private sector is when things get tough the public sector increases taxes & fees while the private sector eliminates jobs. Public sector’s fiscal responsibility is to raise taxes & increases its size..what a joke.
Kathleen Brothers February 28, 2012 at 10:34 PM
God, I hope not .....
Tewks resident February 29, 2012 at 05:55 AM
Should be illegal. New infrastructure (like sewer or updated water delivery system) should be paid for out of our property taxes. The water bill is to only pay for operating costs. Our tax rate is already maxed out per legal levels, so this is just a way of hiding more taxes. In the end we are just paying for many years of incompetent management.
Tewks resident February 29, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Ironically, we live in a swamp. Time to dig a well.
Jon Pratt February 29, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Enterprise funds great scam even the mgr see the value of vudo accounting
"the eyes of T-Bury" February 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM
{sigh} what a surprise! Why not tax us on the air we breathe?
Who Me? February 29, 2012 at 01:03 PM
This is yet but another example of why Democracy is failing here in Tewksbury and across the Country for that matter. Don O is correct in his opinion that voter apathy is largely to blame. However, it actually goes deeper than that. Your Politicians are in cahoots with an “insider” system that takes care of themselves first. It’s no secret that Tewksbury will have great difficulty meeting its future retirement and healthcare “obligations” The Water/Sewer Enterprise Fund is, and will, be used as a vehicle to fund those “obligations”
Who Me? February 29, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Many of us tried in vain to warn folks that creating a Water/Sewer Enterprise Fund would be in the words of Daniel Webster “The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy” Sadly, no one paid any attention and the Lemmings all followed each other over the cliff. Enterprise Funds have a long history of financial abuse everywhere that they have been created. Even here in Tewksbury the fund was being used to pay the Dog Catcher’s salary. Even worse the Enterprise Funds are exempted from Proposition 2 ½ so can and will be raised at will. Additionally Enterprise Funds are not part of Property Tax assessments so are not Tax deductable on your Income Tax returns, making a bad situation worse.
Who Me? February 29, 2012 at 01:04 PM
And again, when many of us tried to sound the alarm, again when scam number two came down the pike in the form of the debt exemption, transferring the water sewer debt to the Property Tax bill. Many of us tried to speak that all this would do would be to pay off the Town’s Water and Sewer Visa Card so the Town could start running up the Water Sewer Visa card again by simply raising Water and Sewer rates AGAIN. Sadly, as expected, the Lemmings followed each other off the cliff again. The Taxpayers were sold down the river by Residents who publicly stated they wanted to have lower water and sewer rates so they could “maintain their green lawns because that’s the only hobby they had”
Who Me? February 29, 2012 at 01:04 PM
And so here we are, a year after one of the largest real estate tax increase in Tewksbury’s history, speaking of raising water and sewer rates AGAIN! Yup, time to run up the Water/Sewer Fund Visa card again. Tewksbury has the States 2nd highest water sewer rates, second only to Gloucester Ma. All of this madness to pay the Town’s Pension and Retirement “obligations” while the rest of us are told in the words of Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake” The Sewer Man must be so proud.
Dave February 29, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I thought that transferring the water sewer debt to the Property Tax was going to take care of that mess???? That's what we where lead to believe in??? It was to help pay off the dept to not to give them a right to up our taxes on water and sewer again. I don't have or want sewer. Why do I pay for it?
malcolm nichols February 29, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Remember our town manager and dpw manager told us this was coming over a year ago and that it was going to drive up the water usage rates dramatically.That is part of the reason they suggested the transfer of half the existing costs over to the property bill side to make way for these maintenance & repair costs. We cannot sell bonds to pay for this maintenace!! Tewksbury is overleveraged with way to much debt already!!! This burden must be paid with the water rate!!!! Maybe we should use our "green energy grants to help pay" sounds like a green cause to me. PS don't forget our state stormwater management obligations we need to be saving for.
Dan February 29, 2012 at 05:13 PM
How about instead of a new soccer field at Gitmo, they send the money here!!! Years go by and I never see any of these pol's think outside of the box to save the people who pay their salery a buck. I thought we were hit over the head with the last increase, then a guy comes along and wants to build a state of the art field at the highschool, and becuse he can't get enought donations, comes looking to the taxpayers who just built a new high school. Election time is coming and maybe time to move these Tunnel vision selectmen we have out!!!
mike t March 05, 2012 at 06:50 AM
I don't care what the AWWA says regarding the rest of the country's infrastructure. I care about Tewksbury's infrastructure. We replace lines on an as needed basis so don't claim the sky is falling chicken little! Montuori is using this general form letter blanket statement from the AWWA to justify his incompetence! This should be a wake up call to stop misappropriating funds. It is time Montuori gave each of us taxpayers an itemized balance sheet of where our money is going. It is time we petition and vote to remove "Enterprise Funding". If we know we have infrastructure improvement costs coming then why use water and sewer fees for other uses?? Use ALL of the fees collected for the water and sewer system ONLY Montuori!! Then when the sky really starts to fall we will have the funding to fix it.
R Miano March 15, 2012 at 05:43 PM
If my water bills continues to go up I will have to start digging a hole to collect free water. This town is unreal.
Valerie Ayer April 13, 2012 at 11:31 AM
What i can't understand is why I used less water this time but my bill is higher and the rates were the same as the last bill? Who made up this formula to figure out the cost of the water bill? I get charged the rate per gallon amount I used then this bill I get charged the next tier because they added the usage together? Isn't this double charging on my last bills usage?

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