To the Editor:
The revamping of the town’s sewage treatment plant seems to be progressing as scheduled. And, it will not be long before the fee to use it will be $1,000 per year. My concern is not about the project. My concern is, and has been since voted for last year, the “one size fits all” single sewer usage fee.
The treatment of municipal waste water is, by definition, a public utility. It is also a monopoly. A public utility monopoly is called a natural monopoly. Public natural monopolies have government oversight to protect the consumer and watch for violations of antitrust laws. I cannot imagine the uproar if a “one size fits all” single usage fee was required to pay for an electric company utility, or gas or water utilities.
To expect a single person living in a small house, who probably does their laundry at a laundromat, to pay $1,000 per year to have the WPCA process 40 gallons of gray/black water per day, and a family of five or six living in a 5,000-square-foot house pay the same amount to have 400 gallons per day processed is ludicrous, maybe illegal. Public utilities do not operate that way. Public utilities are compensated for by the amount of service they provide. I can think of several ways to monitor the inflow amounts to the treatment plant. But, I was not elected or appointed by the town to make policy.
However, it is my expectation that the town and the WPCA create responsible policy and to recognize that the policy of a “one size fits all” usage fee is outrageous, and change it.
John W. West
Abbott Avenue, June 10