• Letter was misleading
    February 13,2013
     

    Letter was misleading

    This letter is in response to a Montpelier city official’s letter in Tuesday’s Times Argus which suggests that the town of Berlin has not communicated with the city regarding options for a water supply in the town. Nothing could be further from the truth. This letter is misleading and was published at the last minute in The Times Argus for the sole purpose of trying to defeat today’s bond vote. The town has been meeting with city officials for several years, and at one time in 2010 the two municipalities were discussing the purchase of water from the city at a rate that did not exceed $7.29 per 1,000 gallons. On July 20, 2012, the city insisted on a different arrangement that resulted in a bulk water purchase rate in the range of $11 per 1,000 gallons. This rate is about twice the estimated cost to Berlin customers than if the town used the state-approved town wells, and the city has been informed that its proposed water rate is not acceptable.

    The state-approved wells in Berlin produce a quality of water that analysis has shown to be superior than even the “technologically advanced” treated water from the city plant. The well water is of such high quality it does not require the treatment that the city’s surface supply requires. Approved volumes are sufficient to provide predicted connections to the system once it is constructed.

    The proposed system, which requires a positive bond vote to proceed with final design and to develop the financial package, will provide safe, high-quality water to Berlin customers at almost half the cost of purchasing water from Montpelier. Fire protection including hydrants will greatly benefit the town, and insurance costs may go down while the tax base may increase. Only users of the proposed system will pay, and connection to the system is completely discretionary. 

    I have felt compelled to write this letter in order to assure Berlin residents that we have tried to work with the city over the years, but the high cost of water from the city did not serve Berlin customers well. Last-minute letters from the city of Montpelier should not try to influence affairs in a neighboring community and today’s bond vote.

    Tom Willard

    Berlin Water Committee

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