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Salisbury Annual Fall Town Meeting

The Town of Salisbury is holding its’ Annual Town Meeting on October 24th at 7pm at the Salisbury Elementary School. Voters should know what is on the warrant within two weeks before town meeting. Warrant Articles will be posted on the Town of Salisbury website.

Two articles submitted by town residents address sewer user fees being based on water usage, and zoning change to allow 89’ high condo buildings units on the barrier beach.

SEWER USER FEES BASED ON WATER USAGE:

A YES vote will have the Town comply with the Town’s grant agreement with the government.

•Supporters of this measure say that this sewer user vote will help small families, senior citizens and everyone who conserves water. It complies with EPA’s 1992 recommendation to Salisbury after the Town completed the water meter installation program, the Clean Water Act, information given to the state and the MassDEP to implement a sewer user system based on actual water.

The town’s original “sewer rules and regulations” and votes taken at Town Meeting in 1990, (and in October 1992) “The sewer user fees shall be determined by water usage”. The benefit to the town is that there will be no loss in revenue from all users. VOTE YES

This is a citizens article to reinstate sewer user fees using actual metered water method from the EQR method adopted by the Board of Selectmen acting as Sewer Commissioners in 2008:

Below is that actual warrant article.
To see if the Town will vote to amend Article 19 of the May 19, 2008 Annual Town Meeting to read that “The Town will vote to amend Article 6 of the April 9, 1990 Special Town Meeting as amended by Article 20 of the October 26, 1992 Annual Fall Town Meeting” and replace, adopt and enact the following:

“All sewer users, including seasonal residents and properties that are not using water as evidenced by their individual water metering, shall be charged sewer usage fees strictly based upon their actual metered water usage and not by EQR (Equivalent Residential Dwelling Unit) flat fee charge method commencing with each individual user’s first water bill, calculated and determined by the fully metered water data history available from Salisbury’s (currently Pennichuck) Water Services Company using the Town’s annual EQR dollar rate in the billing formula.

This water usage data shall be used to determine each user’s first quarterly sewer user bill and shall continue to be calculated in the same manner, based upon the water user’s proportionate share of the actual fiscal year costs for operation and maintenance of the sewer treatment works-plant, based upon the individual user’s proportionate contribution to the total treated wastewater that is obtained from all combined users. Adoption of this Article shall eliminate the one (1) EQR minimum charge; or take any other action relative thereto.”

• Warrant article to change zoning to allow the (89 feet) 7 floor buildings for the proposed 250+ condos at the beach center altering the Beach Overlay District.

Residents need to know that this vote further violates federal and state environmental mandates – the town’s agreement with EPA to receive the grants for their $18 M sewer project. The condition is not to tie-in any new development (living dwellings) built within a 100-year flood plain, wetland, or barrier beach (Salisbury Beach). They also will violate State Executive Order 181 if the Town allows this proposal that will allow construction of 250+ condos on the barrier beach. Vote NO.

• Informational meeting regarding sewer user fees and more will be held on October 15, 2016 from 10:30 AM to noon with time following meeting for individual questions at Salisbury Public Library, 17 Elm Street – BRING YOUR

QUESTIONS!

Discuss: Methods – user charge system equivalent dwelling unit based on flat fee billing vs. actual metered water use billing what does this mean to all users in $$$ dollars and cents.

• The difference between EQR charge method vs EQR rate
• Only user charge systems that charge in proportion to use comply with the regulations
• Fair and equitable distribution of costs for operation and maintenance of sewer system
• EPA sewer grant conditions to Salisbury and Federal and State environmental mandates.
• As of the time this paper went to print, the Valley Patriot does not know if the town is voting for the Lafayette Corridor Sewer Extension at this October 24th Town Meeting, but before residents vote they need to know, who is liable for their “local share” assessment for the sewer construction of the property that will be sewered? What is the date of the vote to construct this sewer with the assessment order, project plan and per parcel estimate? In the October 1986 Special Town Meeting, Article 15 for $7.8 Million Town Share the Town voted – “The additional sum of money is required to pay for increases in construction costs and expansion of sewer service on Elm Street and the Lafayette Road corridor.” Who will the Town be charging for this sewer extension? You need to know BEFORE you vote

Every registered voter should attend and vote. Every property owner who is not a registered voter should contact the Board of Selectmen/Sewer Commissioners at Town Hall (978) 462-8232 ext. 410 and express your concerns or email them at bosadmin@salisburyma.gov

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover Massachusetts, an author, host of the Paying Attention Radio Program on WCAP in Lowell, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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