Letter: New increased sewer charges — another missed opportunity!
To the Editor:
The $48-million sewer project was the second largest capital project in the history of Ridgefield. This is a once in a generation event.
In this case, why would the first selectman, Board of Selectmen and the sewer commission they appoint not use this event to modernize and improve how we charge Ridgefielders for it. The first selectman is a voting member of the sewer commission. Instead, we raise annual fees 60 percent to $750 going to $940 when completed.
Today, we charge based on a “unit” cost. This artificial metric charges a household with one person the same as a family of five. This penalizes senior citizens living on fixed incomes, as well as small households.
We, in Ridgefield, should join other towns who have modernized to the 21st century and go immediately to “usage pricing.” You pay for what you use. This is the most rational approach.
The current new hookup fee is $5,700 per house or per apartment. Any property owner not on the town sewer system knows that the cost to fix and replace a new septic system is $20,000-$30,000.
Why are existing property owners and taxpayers subsidizing over development of multifamily and apartment buildings? This eventually causes more traffic.
New user hookups should pay what existing property owners pay to replace their systems. There is no reason for this subsidy. Since Ridgefielders are paying the $48 million to build it, there should a more equitable way to charge for it.
By converting to user based billing and raising new sewer hookups to what property owners should pay, cost, usage and growth will be closer in balance.
It’s time for new leadership. This is why elections matter.
St. Johns Road, Aug. 28