It's a sad day in Shrewsbury when we convert our HS athletic program to an advertising medium. I'm well aware of the lack of funding, and the causes, and all the back stories, but that doesn't make it right. Who's next? Budweiser? Or maybe the pot dispensary? View Comment
John, If a residense consumes 100,000 gallons in 3 months, as you describe in your example, they are consuming at 3 times the national average for a family of 5. In the interst of conservation, perhaps we should cut these folks off and make them drill wells (not really conservation, but it would be a hassle), or protest outside their houses (the 99% percent who don't waste water could occupy thier lush green lawn). Since the town is unable to access cash from property taxes, why not sock it to the heavy residential users? The industrial users are already paying thier way in the form of wages, employment taxes, and low service costs (no school burden). View Comment
John, I would be very wary of raising rates on businesses any higher than suggested. You bring up two important, but sometimes competing concepts in your letter: a) raising revenue, and b) conservation.
If we are concerned about conservation, I think the biggest impact would be had by raising residential rates above 5,000 gallons and above 25,000 gallons. Residences often have much more flexibility to reduce water demand than a business. Often a business uses water for cooling, or process reasons that are tied directly to their output, with little room or budget to invest in lower water use technologies. (Of course, I am a conservative who does not believe in using taxes and fees for social engineering, but that is a topic for another day.)
If we are concerned about raising revenue, as we always are, it hardly makes sense to raise more revenue from tax-paying, job-creating businesses while protecting residential water over-users. If we do not remain vigilent in protecting our non-residential tax base, which is an important part of the region's economic engine, we will soon not be having this debate, as there will be nothing but residences left to pay for everything, while we all drive to Boston to work.
Besides, our lawn turns brown in the heat of summer, so I am somewhat protected from high-use water rates!
-Pat View Comment
It's good to see our Representative spending time and making headlines on such an important issue. Everyone else is frittering away their Congressional day working on ending wars, creating jobs, protecting us from terrorists, figuring our what China will do next, and tying to avoid bankrupting the country. Who is left to fight for tax incentives to use an ineffective public transportation system? Jim McGovern, that's who! View Comment
Robbin, Great question! From what I see, the answer is Yes and No. We are proud of our expedited permitting for new businesses, and our low tax rate and high level of services are just what businesses need to thrive. However, recent experiences with Daniels Sharp Smart and the current shouting about the flee market on Rt. 9 send a clear message to businesses that there are pockets of stiff citizen resistance to nearby activity. I look forward to the Lakeway District returning to the level of activity it once enjoyed, but it will take some pushing, prodding and patience from all of us. View Comment
I can understand the other commenter's concern for the costs of roof repairs, heating, etc., the need for parking, traffic flow, sports fields, etc.
Despite all these concerns we could still reuse the space the way Mr. Joseph suggests. However, I wonder what would our grandchildren think of these ideas? Would they marvel at our frugality? Would they hold in reverence such a temple of prudent expenditure? Alternatively, would they consider us the same as the barbarians in Worcester who use the Memorial Auditorium for storage of old court files? Or saddest of all, would they just tear it down, build proper public structures and not give us a second thought? View Comment