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To The Editor:
Waitsfield taxpayers are not being asked to pay for the water system.
The article in The Valley Reporter on October 11, 2012, titled “Waitsfield Water Task Force recommends cost shift to all taxpayers” requires some clarification of the discussion that occurred at the recent select board meeting on Monday, October 8, 2012.
The Water Task Force has consistently followed the select board’s lead from the 2008 bond vote; that the cost of the water system should be paid for by the water users. The issue of who pays for the fire protection has never been debated; it has been assumed that the water users would be paying all the costs including those of fire protection.
At the meeting, the Water Task Force recommended two alternate views with the select board with regard to fire protection.
The question posed is whether it is reasonable for the 70-plus property owners who have signed up for water to pay the ongoing costs for fire protection for the town of Waitsfield (and to a lesser extent the town of Fayston) or should these costs be born by the taxpayers of Waitsfield. The estimated taxpayer cost is $0.0025 per $100 on the town rate of $0.317 per $100 – the equivalent of approximately $5 per $200,000 property value.
At the select board meeting, the select board was asked why they added the fire protection component to the system; the answer given was simply that the fire protection benefited the town.
Finally, at the meeting the select board preferred that this matter would be subject to a townwide vote next March.
Robin Morris, for the
Waitsfield Water Task Force