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Send us the bill

smart-money.jpgThe Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has decided that the city of Fitchburg needs to beef up its local wastewater facility. So it issued a mandate that the city install a new facility at the plant, a facility that will cost almost $10 million to build. City Council President Thomas Conry thinks this mandate, without any money from the state, is hogwash.

State and federal governments continue to push unfunded mandates on cities and towns and we just can’t afford to do them.

The nearby city of Worcester has flipped the bird to similar projects mandated by the state without funding, and Fitchburg has decided to join them. This stand doesn’t come without a price, however, as the mandate includes a $1,000 per day penalty starting next March. But Fitchburg figures it’s cheaper to just pay that fine than to spend the $800,000 per year it’ll take to build the plant, money which would come from a sewer tax hike to residents.

Of course, that still adds up to $365,000 per year, so one wonders where the city will get the cash. But whatever, cause there’s a part of me that definitely loves seeing a whole city stand up the man.

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Comments

If I read Massachusetts' home rule provisions correctly, the Commonwealth could simply abolish the two municipalities, oust all its local officials, and reincorporate from scratch.

"Stand up to the man" assumes the man doesn't own your legs.