The members of the Water and Sewer Commissions have adopted fiscal year budgets for 2019, which will now be presented to electors at the annual Financial Town Meeting for both companies on Monday, June 18 at 4 p.m.
The Sewer Company budget for 2019 is $1,416,091, reflecting a decrease of about $100,000 from the current year’s budget. The budget takes into account a 2.5 percent increase in customer usage fees. The increase in user fees is expected to bring in about $30,000 in revenue.
The approved budget for the Water Company is $809,810, reflecting an increase of about $30,000 over the current fiscal budget. The budget also includes a five percent increase to all user fees and monthly customer charges.
In other news, Sewer Superintendent Chris Blane floated a very preliminary idea about turning an unused piece of property located between the parking lot that is adjacent to the Harbor Church and the Old Harbor pump station into housing units for future employees of both the water and sewer companies.
Sewer Chair Pete McNerney said the need for housing was now so great that if apartments had been built there already he “would have rented them out, no problem.”
“No question,” agreed Water Commission Chair Brad Marthens. “These would be affordable units. It’s just a question of what we can build.”
When McNerney started to describe what type of units he could envision on the property, Marthens said, “Let’s not put the cart before the horse.”
“Where’s the money coming from?” asked member Kathy Szabo.
“Again, let’s not put the cart before the horse,” said Marthens.
In the end, the Sewer Commissioners approved doing a survey of the property to get a better idea of what can be built there.