One of the issues being tossed about by the city council is a recommendation by former councilor Billings to examine the possibility of funding water and sewage via a separate fee based on water consumption.
There appears to be one big benefit to this proposal and that is that it seems much fairer to those in the city who are hooked up to septic systems rather than the sewer. But is that really the case if the fee is based upon water consumption rather than discharge? Or could the rates be adjusted for septic users? Would it make more sense to rebate property taxes to current septic users?
Also, would property taxes be reduced as the water fee is implemented? Or is this fee another way to create "new" revenue?
Finally, one of the councilors (I forget who) asked how this would affect the two biggest commercial consumers of water in the city - North Adams Regional Hospital and MCLA. Both of these organizations being tax exempt, would this hurt them disproportionately?
How have other city's handled the transition? If anybody knows, feel free to spout away in comments.