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.


Mary E.Carey said...

Love the wave and also your cute pics from the previous post. And thanks for the tip about the Amherst PD log. I've got high hopes for it!

chris said...

What about the electricity that the power plant produces? Excess power will be given to the Town for free. This should be included in your calculations.

LarryK4 said...

So where did you hear this Chris?

What "excess power"? According to Umass engineers the Powerplant will only produce 80% of the needs of the CURRENT campus; thus if they add 5,000 to 10,000 energy Godzilla’s--I mean students--that percentage drops even more.

And by Federal Law the (evil, monolithic) Utilities have to purchase any excess you decide to send their way.

Why would Umass GIVE Amherst $100,000 in juice when they could simply sell it to the Utilities?