NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Breaking News

Local News

January 10, 2013

Water costs dominate Merrimac agenda

MERRIMAC — The supply, distribution and, most of all, the cost of Merrimac’s drinking water remains at the top of the agenda for town officials.

At Monday night’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen, local resident Jim Trott reappeared with the results of the research on water revenues he had offered to perform at an earlier meeting.

Sounding less than hopeful, Trott said he had been in contact with the water pollution abatement trust fund, which will reportedly vote on Merrimac’s application next week.

“We’ll have to look elsewhere for a grant, though,” said Trott. He noted that Salisbury recently received $20 million in grants and Newburyport has also received millions, “but by comparison, it seems like we here in Merrimac are a nonentity.”

“The criteria for grants is based on population and what percentage is moderate or low-income,” explained Selectman Laura Mailman. “The demographics just don’t work for us the way they do in those communities.”

“We have reached out to our representatives,” said Selectman Ricky Pinciaro, “and the only advice they gave us was to move forward with the Town Square project, so this is really water under the bridge at this point.”

Trott suggested that it may be time for the board to go to state officials and “tell them it’s time they helped our town.”

“As a board and as a town, this is where we need to get active,” he added.

Selectmen Chairman Earl Baumgardner responded, “We’ve never made much headway on this issue with our representatives, but we’ve been mandated by the state to fix problems that were ignored for years by prior town officials.”

“We keep trying to go back to the well,” echoed Pinciaro, with yet another watery reference.

Mailman put the issue in perspective by explaining that there are thresholds which must be met to even qualify to apply for municipal grants.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Special Features