Keep Sharon's Conservation Water Rates
To the Sharon Board of Selectmen/Water Commissioners:
We the undersigned residents of Sharon support our existing conservation-oriented water rate structure, which features ascending block rates, higher summer rates, and a low fixed base fee. Sharon's conservation water rates encourage efficient water use, which:
• keeps down the cost of supplying the community with water.
• improves drinking water quality.
• protects our local environment and water sources.
That's why it's fair and appropriate to charge higher rates for consumption above and beyond essential water needs, as recommended by Sharon's Water Conservation Plan and the Massachusetts Water Conservation Standards, and employed by the majority of towns in Massachusetts.
Town water committee members have proposed discarding Sharon's ascending water rates in favor of a single rate for all usage, and increasing the quarterly fixed base fee from the current $15 to as much as $50. Such changes would greatly increase the cost of modest water use for basic needs, while subsidizing heavy water use for non-essential purposes, and diminishing the incentive to conserve Sharon's precious and finite water resources.
Conservation water rates are the cornerstone of Sharon's highly effective, award-winning water conservation program, which has reduced water use by 20% despite Sharon's population growth of 6% since 1995. With significant development projects planned for Sharon, we urge you to stay the course with Sharon's conservation-oriented water rate structure.