I almost fell out of my chair when I got my last water and sewer bill, which was $640.44. What made it even worse was when I asked my two kids what theirs was I got the following: Amesbury - $31.22, and Wakefield - $127.90. At first I didn't believe it, then I figured out why. Amesbury is not in the MWRA service area. Wakefield is, but they are not full water and sewer. They are full sewer and emergency water only.
So obviously comparing those two towns to Melrose doesn't work in terms of dollars, so I looked at actual usage. Amesbury (spouse and no children) was a tick more than mine, and Wakefield (spouse and 2 children) was about 30% more than mine.
Even factoring in that Wakefield is not full water and sewer, the difference seems inexplicable to me. The only conclusion I can make is that Melrose ratepayers are getting totally screwed.
Tell you what - fix the water and sewer ripoff, and I'll consider voting for an override. Now? Voting no, emphatically.
CORRECTION: My last bill was $460.44 not $640.44. I apologize for not catching that when I posted. My shock was based on the correct number, not the typo.
It’s insane. Mine WAS 600+ with four people in the house. It’s criminal even compared to other city and towns on the mwra. Now they want more in taxes. No way.
Not sure about that. The two two person households were roughly the same and the four person household was around 30% more. If anything I thought the four person household would have been about 50% more. But how can similar usage in Melrose cost 15 times what it does in Amesbury? I understand some of that is MWRA related, but seriously? Wakefield is MWRA, and if the cost there for sewer only was $127.90, you can extrapolate a maximum bill for water and sewer to be no more than $200 - water is less expensive than sewer, right? So why am I paying $260 a quarter more than a household three miles from here that uses 30% more?
If you want to understand the real scoop about Water & Sewer, go to the appropriate strings on this message board in which the very articulate statements of Gerry Mroz and Phil Taymor are laid out.
City Hall doesn't really want to grasp how the manipulation of the H2O budget and fees has been deeply corrosive of trust in what it says about other budget desiderata.
A new mayor wanting to recover public trust would have to first dig out of that grave that Melrose City Hall has assiduously been digging for itself over a period of years. (This isn't the only one of those graves, but probably the most widespread after school maladministration.) Fire the city auditor and solicitor while you're at it, and don't replace them with anyone with a connection to the ancien regime.
Water and Sewer games was a major factor in the Override defeat in 2015. The same “hidden figures” approach and outrageous bills sink the current one, too.
Dolan and Company tried the same bull$hit in Lynnfield. Voters IMMEDIATELY showed up in force and told him to pound sand. The Selectmen reversed their decision and repealed the new rate structure. Good for them. That's what needs to happen here. Unfortunately, Melrose seems to be populated with sheep.
I beg to differ. Both know a great deal about it.
If we were paying for work that had already been done, that might make a little sense. But the work hasn't been done, yet your bill for what is supposed to be the lightest use quarter was 2 1/2 times what my son's was in Stoneham for a family of four.. If that doesn't bother you, then you're either too rich for it to matter, or totally foolish.
I've watched a number of meetings where Mr. M and Mr. T spoke. They are articulate, and they have taken a great deal of time to investigate the facts. Anyone who says otherwise is just a shill for the local pols. Shilling for those crooks might play well with the gullible young parents and/or the social-climbers who want to be "in" with the top brass, but it only proves the case for those of us who can see right through and can tell very simply who's telling the truth and who isn't. The local officials are definitely pulling a scam about all kinds of things, and have been for a long time, which is sad to say about a community that should have insisted on better. But that being the case, the only thing we can do is fight back, vote no, and hopefully some good people will get voted in one of these days. Oh, and thank you, Monica (and I'm not a republican). Monica tells the truth and works hard for all of us.
I recently looked at what water costs in two other places I’ve lived in my life. One was $3 per 100 cubic feet. The other was $2. In Melrose, it’s $6.
This is mostly a function of the corrupt and unaccountable MWRA. So-called “indirect costs” from the city are a contributing factor.
Melrose should try to get its water from somewhere else.
No, this is not correct: "This is mostly a function of the corrupt and unaccountable MWRA. So-called “indirect costs” from the city are a contributing factor. "
The MWRA does not determine Melrose water and sewer rates, Melrose Board of Aldermen do.
Our water and sewer bills are a major factor in why our family will be voting NO on the Override. Why Melrose pays so much more than other cities and towns is questionable and has never been explained.
It's the middle of winter and we got a $500 water bill this quarter. Don't have any water leaks either. That will be $2,000 this year on top of a $5,500 tax bill, plus the $300 excise tax bill. We had to spend about $500 for school supplies and ecamp. That's $8,300. Add all that to the mortgage, and after 15 years here, we're barely making it. If that override passes, I don't know where we'll have to go to make ends meet.