By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – At their meeting Sept. 8, the Board of Selectmen affirmed an increase in town water rates. Town Manager Daniel Morgado and Selectman Maurice DePalo explained that beginning Jan. 1, 2016, residential water rates for up to 5,000 gallons a year will increase 14.3 percent, while commercial rates will increase 11.1 percent. For those using between 5001 and 25,000 gallons per year, residential rates will increase 8.8 percent and commercial rates 17.9 percent. For those who live in apartments, the increase will be 5.9 percent. Morgado had previously said the goal is to raise about $170,000 to help maintain and improve the town system. The last rate increase was in 2008 and as of now the town’s rate is low in comparison to its neighbors. An intent of the increase is to charge the largest users more for water.
Selectmen also voted to increase fees for filing for liquor and food licenses and for sending notices to abutters about proposed changes. The fee for notifying abutters will increase to $125 if non-certified letters are sent; if certified mail is used, the fee will increase to $150. The fee schedule will now increase to between $1,200 and $2,500 for some residential and commercial applications.
In addition, Chair Moira Miller noted in opening remarks that she and DePalo had visited Prime Wellness in Connecticut to see an example of an approved marijuana dispensing clinic. She reported that she had been very impressed and had renewed confidence about such an application in Shrewsbury. DePalo remarked that he had had the same reaction. Miller said she would like to work with the town manager to create a path forward for such a facility in Shrewsbury. The board agreed.