February 26 2019

Selectmen Approve Fee Increase for New Water Meters

By: Rich Hosford

The Board of Selectmen approved a fee increase for water meters in an attempt to keep up with rising prices.


Department of Public Works Director John Sanchez said the fees for water meters and the radios used to collect the readings from them have not been increased in roughly ten years. He recommended that the fee for a new meter and the radio device be raised from $250 to $275. He also suggested the cost of the radio device alone be raised from $100 to $125. Finally, he suggested that the commercial cost for the radio devices also go up to $125.


Burlington’s new Town Administrator Paul Sagarino said the price increase is meant to prevent the town from losing money when providing meters and the radio devices to new construction. He added that Burlington has a history of keeping most fees equal to or lower than other area cities and towns.


“To compare with other communities we feel that being in the middle of the pack is a good place to be,” he said. “We don’t want to be the most expensive place but I think the idea of a fee is to recover the cost of the service so we do want to have the fees be reflective of the service being provided.”


The new fees won’t affect most residents and they are applied only during the first time a meter and radio device is put on a home or business. There is no charge for replacements.



Members of the board approved the fee increase but also wanted to know about the handful of residents who have not allowed the town to install a radio device on their meters. Selectman Mike Runyan raised this concern and asked if anything was being done about it.


“We have some people out there who for years have refused to let us into their homes to address the situation,” he said. “I think that’s unacceptable and I don’t see anything on the fee list to address it. It’s not fair to the rest of the folks in town who play by the rules.”


Sanchez said that while it wasn’t outlined in the paperwork provided to the board Monday night there are plans in the work to get everyone hooked up with a radio device to read their meters.


He also said in an interview with BNEWS that the problem is minimal.


“I’d say 99.99 percent of people are in compliance,” he said.  


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