To the Editor:
I am writing in regards to your comments in the Warwick Beacon of July 26, in the article entitled “Sewer authority seeks OK of $267 connect capable fee”. I am really trying to give your organization, your City Council elected officials and Mayor Avedisian’s office an understanding of how frustrating it has been to continue to “subsidize my neighbors”, as you so aptly put it. In 2005, when sewer connection had become available in my neighborhood, my husband and I discussed this option.
We have very little savings, both work, and just about get all of our bills paid on a monthly basis. Nevertheless, we opted to be environmentally conscientious and took out a loan to pay the City of Warwick the sewer assessment of $6,500 (we have a modest raised ranch on a corner lot), as well as $1,700 to a contractor to connect. It is now 2011 and we have finally paid this back. To add insult to injury, you said in the above mentioned article “3,100 Warwick properties that are connect capable”, yet still not connected – no connection fee paid, and most important injustice – no quarterly bill for sewer costs.
What really continues to disappoint and stupefy me, is that every time in the past 6 years when a “connect capable” plan is constructed, it always just goes quietly away. You bet that I am extremely agitated every quarterly billing cycle when my water/sewer amount continues to increase: the first bill we received in 2005 was for $113.32 and the most recent one of June 2011 is for $259.51.
Do we flush the toilets more often? Do we take excessively long showers? Do we feel that we should have to pay for all those who should have to pay for all those who the sewers were installed for, who yet refuse to connect? NO, NO, NO! To be quite honest, I sincerely regret that as we try to manage our expenditures every day, that we ever took on this exorbitant expense (compared to those who have not connected to a vital city service and are not penalized). I drive a 14-year-old car – I could have purchased a brand new one with all the money that we have spent! Sadly, I now regret that we chose the responsible option.
In closing, I would like to thank you and the Warwick Beacon for yet again, bringing this issue to the forefront of our city’s news. At the proposed $67 penalty per quarter for the connect capable fee, all of those residents will be getting a bargain! That would still only be less than 25 percent of my quarterly bill. With the economy in the sad state that it is in, I wholeheartedly agree that this presents a financial burden to each family who tries to do the right thing to keep our waterways in a cleaner condition for those who come after us. However, as you pointed out in the article, it the article, it is extremely UNFAIR to those of us who are shouldering the cost for those other 3,100 connect capable properties. I have never written a letter of this nature before, but I am sure that many other residents are dismayed at the complete lack of action to try to give us a bit of financial relief and to make the sewer connection program more equitable.