“I would still like to look at other ways to cover the cost of the water system improvements,” said Baumgardner. “This is a 20 percent increase in water rates — that’s a huge increase.”
“Given the economy, and the forecasts about the economy, we’re going to drive people out of their homes with rates like this,” he added.
According to Selectman Laura Mailman, “It’s a question of where do you go to find the money?”
Baumgardner postponed a vote on the issue due to the absence of Selectman Rick Pinciaro, adding that “I can’t in good conscience vote to raise the water rates by 20 percent. There simply must be a better way.”
Mailman suggested reducing the early-payment discount to 5 percent from the current 10 percent, and McLeod agreed to research the effects of such a change.
Items on the Merrimac calendar:
Christmas Parade through town is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 2, at 1 p.m., and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place that evening.
Curbside leaf collection is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 6. Leaves should be in paper bags, and placed curbside by 7 a.m.
Café Jazz Night is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. at Pentucket Regional High School.