Greenfield DPW director defends water and sewer rate increase

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)–Greenfield’s Water and Sewer Tax went up in 2018.

The City increased the Water rates by 10 percent and the sewer rates by 15 percent. The city said the money from the higher rates will help pay for future water and sewer infrastructure projects. Those include replacing old water mains and sewage pump stations.

“It might be a little bit of a strain but its necessary,” said Helen Petties of Greenfield. “The pumping station is important not only for the town, but for visitors.”

The third and final pump station the city wants to replace is located at the Leyden Woods Apartments. The estimated cost of construction is $600,000 and the city said they won’t be able to pay it all without help from taxpayers. City Council Vice President, Penny Ricketts told 22News the higher rates are hurting some residents.

“I think this will be devastating to some people,” said Ricketts. “It will be a financial burden. I understand the infrastructure, but it should have been discussed long before now.”

Greenfield DPW director Don Ouellete told 22News he told city councilors about the rate hikes last year, and they should have been aware of it. This is the first time the city has raised the water and sewer rates in 7 years.

Ouellete said Greenfield’s new water and sewer rates are still 25 percent less than the state average.

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