Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Making (effluent) Waves!
Ironically the following statement asking Town Meeting to “strongly urge” the Selectboard to rescind their 9/17 vote to give Umass free effluent was just mailed to all of Town Meeting by the Selectboard office. Taxpayers for Responsible Change had to provide 275 copies but they did the folding, stuffing and paid postage.
This same system calls for the petitioner to appear before the Selectboard to request they support the article in a recommendation to Town Meeting. Hmmm, I know of at least two Selectmen who might do just that.
Town Meeting Article #20
UMass Effluent Water Waiver
Taxpayers for Responsible Change
We are bringing this article before Town meeting because, in our opinion, the Selectboard acted hastily and didn’t have complete financial information when they voted 3-2 to grant the effluent waiver to UMass.
The UMass press release heralding the 5-year Strategic Agreement declared that the effluent water waiver only applied to consumption at the new power plant. Addendum 2 of the Strategic Agreement document, however, states the following in paragraph 4 “The town will allow the University to use, free of charge, effluent from the wastewater treatment plant”
Last year UMass, paid the Town of Amherst $38,000 for 57 million gallons used at the old steam plant for heating. According to UMass engineers the new power plant, which will also produce electricity, will consume 200,000 gallons per day or 73 million gallons annually for a cost of $49,000.
The new Integrated Science Building opening this Spring has a Cooling Tower Unit immediately adjacent to it with a rated effluent consumption of about 80% of the power plant, or about 58 million gallons for an additional cost of $39,000. Can the UMass athletic department be far behind in switching to effluent to water their fields?
Without the waiver, these two facilities would have paid $89,000 yearly to Amherst. These funds could then have been applied to the wastewater enterprise fund. Over a full 5-year period, that would have been an estimated $445,000 gain rather than the $200,000 loss quoted by a Selectboard member.
The new monies yearly total $140,000.
Effluent Waiver yearly total -$ 89,000
Sub-total $ 51,000
Demo five frat houses- lost property tax -$ 32,309
Net total $ 18,691
UMass students’ impact on police budget ?
UMass hotel tax loss - $ 50,000
Since this agreement has financial implications for sewer users, it is important for the Finance Committee and Town Meeting to deliberate and comment on this effluent waiver.
Please support article #20.