Page 14 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, May 10, 2019 ~ OP-ED ~ Facts About Our Water System and Water Bills I write in response to the Mayor’s Op Ed “Matheson misleading voters.” 05/03/19. There he falsely claims that I advocate for a “do nothing approach” with no concern for clean and safe drinking water for future generations. I am pleased to have brought attention to our water/sewer billing, and to have our practices fully explained to the residents we serve. This is how elections hold us accountable. The Mayor and I agree that Malden’s water infrastructure is in terrible condition and needs to be fi xed. In fact, Malden has the most lead pipes per person in the state, and is one of only fi ve communities to exceed the federal lead action level. We also have water mains that leak, and some fi re hydrants that don’t work. Regardless, Malden residents deserve to know how they are being billed. Until now, most thought they were paying for their actual water consumption. After all, in 2013 the Mayor asked the Council to authorize him to hold a 5% reserve in the water/ sewer account, or about $1.2 million. Today this surplus nears $9 million, or roughly $700 per rate payer. I know how this can affect a family. It may mean their college student’s text books, or daughter’s dance class, or even replacing that worn out piece of furniture. After creating one of the largest such surpluses in the state, from one of the lowest income communities, we should have made great progress over the last 8 years. The last water main project, which began in 2012, will fi nally be completed in 2019, many millions over budget and many years over schedule – the very benchmarks of good management. In 2016, the Dept. of Environmental Protection cited Malden for deficiencies under the Mayor’s control, and then ordered the removal of all lead pipes. We are now replacing lead pipes, but at a pace that will take another 13 years to complete. We can do better. Our water supplier, the Mass. Water Resource Authority (“MWRA”), offers zero interest loans to replace old water mains. There is adequate funding from these loans, and up to $1 million per year of state Ch. 90 road funds, to fi nance this work without a water rate increase on our resWATER | SEE PAGE 16 Annual Chamber of Commerce Taste of Malden a great success Shown from left to right are Councillor-at-Large Stephen Winslow, Gourmet sponsor Robert Shapiro and Chamber of Commerce Attorney George Shapiro – there was a wonderful selection of food options at the recent Taste of Malden hosted by the Chamber of Commerce Mayor Gary Christenson samples bread from the Piantedosi Baking Company with Ward 7 Councillor Neal Anderson. Masio Dotson-Grillo sips on white wine served by Mark Grabet of Kappy’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Dotson-Grillo said he loves grapes and could taste the light grape fl avor in the wine. Randy DeShaes, manager of Hugh O’Neill’s Restaurant and Pub (left), serves a Reuben sandwich to Michael Melendez. Shown from left to right are Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joan Ford Mongeau, Chamber Members William Joseph and Linsey Wyman, Chamber President Donna Denoncourt, Chamber Members Lisa Loughlin, Joy Curtis and Megan Lawer, Chamber Treasurer Gregg Ellenburg and Chamber Assistant Director Marianne Cohen. Members of Choro da Vida, who play Brazilian music: Ricardo Boratto on 7-string guitar, Erico Menino on pandeiro, Marion Campos Gullotti on 4-string cavaquinho and fl utist Amy Conti. Dockside Manager Deborah Murphy and Dockside Event Coordinator Tara Grace serve mild buff alo mac & cheese to Shannon MacLennan and Justin Wilson.

15 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication