Editor's Note: the following letter concerning the Milford Water Company's rate hearing was shared with Milford Patch.
As a resident of Milford, I think it's crazy that the RH White Companies, Inc., WhiteWater, Inc. and the Milford Water Company (MWC) are considering raising Milford's water rates by 83 percent! The citizens of Milford have lost confidence in the MWC, and their ability to deliver a safe and quality product. I'm thankful that the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office is now looking closer at their situation.
In 2009, Henry Papuga allegedly tampered with water samples "under pressure to demonstrate that the water was safe to consume." One need not try too hard to imagine where that "pressure" might have come from. The resulting false approval of the samples led the state to lift Milford's water boil restriction, leading residents to think that their water was again safe for consumption.
History reminds us that in August of 2009, traces of E. Coli were found in our drinking water, followed by high levels of Trihalomethanes in October 2011. MWC's report that was mailed to customers stated that the contamination could lead to cancer if the exposure to the contaminants in our drinking water was prolonged. We have all since opened our wallets to the 33 percent rate increase of 2010, and now risk an additional 83 percent increase. This is a Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren "Holding them accountable" teachable moment. It's not just the middle class that's "getting hammered", it will be every resident and business owner in Milford. Residents have alternative options for cable television, telephone and Internet services, but for water, we have no alternatives for our daily water needs. The Milford Water Company maintains a monopoly on our water service and its increasing rates.
I encourage the residents and business owners of Milford to attend the special town meeting on Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. in Milford Town Hall. If we do not show our disapproval of the proposed rate increase, the MWC will state to Milford town officials that the residents do not oppose an additional rate increase. This rate increase cannot go unopposed. The proposed rate increase will cost EVERYONE in Milford more money — every business and every residence within Milford (and many in Hopedale). We all purchase our water from the Milford Water Company. I ask readers to please find time in their schedules to attend, and to show your opposition to Milford Water Company's proposed 83 percent rate increase.