The message behind my campaign theme of “Fighting to Keep Framingham Affordable” was reinforced to me when I opened my recent water and sewer bill.
I knew I had used extra water this summer, so the quarterly bill was large as expected, just over $500.
Despite my expectations of a large bill, it was still a little shocking to me. I had comfort in knowing it would be less next quarter.
It was then I realized my bill was not too far off the bill of the average Framingham residential customer. Many people get this bill every quarter!
Our water and sewer bills have doubled over the previous decade to where the average bill is about $450 a quarter.
In addition to the average tax bill of $1,500 a quarter, this is a significant burden for residents.
The main driver of water and sewer bills at this time is debt. Much needed infrastructure work has been accomplished in recent years and I am sure more is
needed. We are at a point where we need to review and reassess our plans to assure they are affordable. We need to understand what we may be able to put off, and
what we may be able to do less expensively.
Our water and sewer bills cannot double again over the next decade and without a thoughtful pause, I fear that may happen.
I believe a city council will be well equipped to undertake the in-depth review and analysis of the water and sewer plans going forward.
The review must include a full understanding of costs, funding sources and ratepayer impact.
We must work hard to stabilize these costs to keep Framingham affordable.
It is a challenge that I have the experience and desire to be involved with and one that I believe we can meet. It is critical to assuring our community remains affordable for all.