To The Editor:
Yes, mistakes were made, but why have these mistakes become everyone’s problem here in Waitsfield? Waitsfield taxpayers are being targeted by a propaganda campaign that is implying that we should all pay for the expense of a contractor mistakenly cutting a water line. The main talking point of this campaign is that somehow the water system is a community asset.
This canard is clearly untrue. The Waitsfield water system is not a community asset; it is barely an asset for those who are on it. I have spoken to water users who feel that is actually a liability for them.
The water system is a public utility just like Green Mountain Power and Washington Electric Co-op are public utilities. If Green Mountain Power suffers from a major outage and incurs a large expense, Washington Electric customers are not asked to foot the bill. Green Mountain Power ratepayers pay for the expense, just as Waitsfield water system users should pay their expenses.
Those of us who own property in Waitsfield, who have our own wells and pay for our own water supply, are not being served by the Waitsfield water system in any way, shape or form.
It is interesting that this past week there has been a blackout affecting Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands in North Carolina. This blackout came about because of the same type of action that caused the Waitsfield water system damage. Underground transmissions cables sustained damage while a construction company that was building a bridge mistakenly cut the lines.
In all the news coverage of this event, I have not seen any public official saying, “Well all the taxpayers should pay for the damage.” There are outraged officials, at least one class action suit has been filed and I am sure that the town, county and state officials in North Carolina will do their duty and protect their constituent taxpayers from financial harm as a result of this incident.
It is time for the Waitsfield Select Board to realize that it is their job is to protect the citizens/taxpayers of our town.
If you own or rent a home in Waitsfield with a private well and you pay for your own water you need to contact our select board members and tell them that you do not want to pay for any financial liabilities of the water users system.