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    Thursday, September 28, 2023

    Let Westerly residents pay for their own water

    Stonington’s First Selectman Chesebrough has overstepped. On Sept. 6, Chesebrough along with Westerly Town Manager Shawn Lacey and Westerly Water Director Massimo Sposato pressured the Stonington Board of Finance into allocating some of Stonington’s undesignated fund balance for Westerly Water infrastructure repairs. The board resisted. (“Project will replace lead pipes in Pawcatuck,“ Sept. 7)

    Why should Stonington taxpayers pay instead of the Westerly and Pawcatuck residents who use the water?

    In Stonington, some rely on their private wells, others pay Aquarion, while Pawcatuck residents enjoy significantly lower water rates under Westerly Water. It is now clear why. Taxpayers across Stonington are subsidizing Westerly Water's infrastructure repairs.

    Ultimately, First Selectman Chesebrough managed to redirect $84,000 from the Stonington Public Works budget to give to Westerly Water. This decision negatively affects neighborhoods like Birdland and others, which have been patiently waiting for street repairs for decades. Instead of repairing these neighborhood streets and more, their funding will now subsidize Westerly Water's pipe installation in a brand-new development near Mary Hall.

    Is this fair? It doesn't seem so.

    Tracy Swain


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