Sunday, April 27


Can you believe that these selectmen have the audacity to ask the taxpayers to pay for the entire debt of the water company again? After the water company lost over a half million of our tax dollars we are again being asked to pay the entire debt. That would be like giving your child another credit card after they maxed out several others. This is why Egremont needs to make a change and make it now.
We are already liable for any budget shortfall; now they want us to sign up for the entire debt. If we vote to take on this debt it guarantees Egremont taxpayers will be subsidizing the water company in the amount of $110,050.00 this year and the amount will be reduced incrementally each year for the next nine years to end up at $93,350.00 in the final year. In total the debt amounts to almost a million dollars. This will also mean that this subsidy will be considered almost like income in the water company annual budget. This would make it appear as though the water company is operating at a profit even though it never has.
            Egremont taxpayers have already subsidized the water company to the tune of $75,000.00 per year. In fact, the finance committees investigation shows that we have spent well over a half million dollars on a water company that was never supposed cost the taxpayers one thin dime. Because many of the water company records cannot be found we will never know the true amount that the town has lost since we cosigned the loan for this water company. If the town votes to take over the entire water company debt we would be agreeing to subsidize this mismanaged water company for another million dollars. Do they think we’re idiots?
            My greatest problem with these subsidies is that they never had to happen, at least to the degree that they have. If the billings were being done properly from the beginning; and if the selectmen didn’t rewrite the water company loans, we would never have had this much of a subsidy. Perhaps we may have had no subsidy at all. Instead we have been taxed over $600,000.00 in subsidies for this WC; this according to the finance committees own numbers.
Another problem I have with these subsidies is that by law the taxpayers will never be able to recoup the money that they have put into the water company. Then if the water company ever did have a surplus by law they would either have to put the surplus into capital improvements or return it to the users in the form of refunds.
With this in mind, if the town votes to take over the water company debt, the WC will have a surplus of about $40,000.00 this year. The water commissioners would then have to decide what to do with the surplus. Lets say that they vote to return the surplus to the users. Now we have a situation in which the taxpayers, rich and poor alike, will be subsidizing both the rich and poor water users to the tune of forty thousand dollars. We would be giving each of the 176 water user a $227.25 refund. We, the taxpayers, have already paid about $3,500.00 per user over the years. Now we are being asked to give them a refund every year for the next nine years? Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me. I will not be made a fool twice.
The bottom line is that we the people have to direct our elected officials to spend our tax dollars in a fair and equitable manner. We have already been saddled with this water company boondoggle once and we’ll be paying for it for years to come. We do not have to burden ourselves with even more debt for a water company that cannot sustain itself without taxpayer subsidies. This article, #3 needs to be soundly defeated. Everyone needs to get out to the town meeting and vote some sense into these selectmen. We must also motivate our friends and neighbors to come out.


  1. This latest proposal from the selectmen sends a clear message. The message is they do not respect the citizens of Egremont. Time for a change!!

  2. Too bad 2nd homeowners can't vote on budgetary items. Taxation without representation - think I'll through a tea party! Hope that change you are talking about is really in the air.