The Marion Board of Selectmen will further investigate a water abatement request for a residence located at 131 Allens Point Rd. The decision to continue the investigation was made at the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, December 4 in the Marion Music Hall.
According to Town Administrator Paul Dawson, Nicholas Grace, the owner of the property, is asking for money for his water bill, which was an astonishing $72,227.65 after one billing period.
The bill, which only includes water and excludes sewer, was so high due to a leak in a pipe and a faulty meter. Dawson said the water meter was located in a pit about 150 yards from the house. When the pipe suffered a leak, no radio signal was sent to the meter because the meter was underwater and not functioning properly.
“This is an unusual circumstance,” said Selectman Jonathan Henry. “Whatever we decide to do will be precedent setting.”
Dawson presented the board with a chart that stated rates for normal water bills in the area. The chart also included figures that were double, triple and quadruple the amount of the normal bill.
Selectman Stephen Cushing suggested offering the quadrupled figure, which would be in the amount of $4,439.57. Still, the quadrupled figure is far off the bill amount.
“I would feel comfortable doubling the quadrupled amount, personally,” said Selectman Jody Dickerson.
Henry asked to table the discussion until the board can see more water rates in the area in order to make an appropriate abatement suggestion. Dawson urged the timeliness of the issue as the bill is due on Saturday, December 15. Dawson said he would try to get some comparable numbers before the deadline.
The Marion Board of Selectmen will meet again on Tuesday, December 18, at 7:00 pm in the Marion Town House.
By Katy Fitzpatrick