Hadley approves new quarterly sewer fee

  • Hadley Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/5/2021 2:10:53 PM

HADLEY — A new quarterly fee to support the town’s sewer system will be placed on residential tax bills beginning in May.

The Select Board Wednesday voted unanimously to implement what officials are calling an infrastructure fee that could raise as much as $94,400 annually, with the money to be directed toward an anticipated $196,000 shortfall in the sewer enterprise fund.

The decision means that, for the first time in Hadley, even residents whose homes are not connected to the municipal sewer system will be contributing toward the costs of its operations and ongoing maintenance.

A similar proposal was discussed in March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Board Chairman David J. Fill II explained that “sewer is a losing game here” and that the $40 per year collected from each household annually will keep the sewer system solvent. 

Residents who are not on the town’s sewer system still benefit from lower property taxes due to the extensive commercial development on Route 9, Fill said.

Some of the aging infrastructure is expected to be replaced when a section of Route 9 is reconstructed in 2022.

Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan said officials are concerned that the sewer and water funds will not have enough operating revenue in the coming years.

The money collected through the new fee, though, will not be sufficient to meet the anticipated shortfall, so the board will likely aim to direct half of the $174,525 brought in from water access fees last year to the sewer fund.

Town Collector Susan Glowatsky said these water access fees, once called a meter charge, generally require a $16.25 payment from each residence that gets town water.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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