Given the unique circumstances and opportunities afforded by the recent and significant influx of federal dollars to the Commonwealth and intended to assist communities, the Advisory Board brought forward a proposal to waive the entrance fee for communities looking to join the MWRA waterworks system for a period of five years for the purpose of facilitating solutions for water quality/public health concerns as well as to provide increased economic development opportunities. The hope and intention was to remove one financial barrier to entry (the entrance fee) while possibly positioning communities that are interested to secure federal funding to cover the cost of building local infrastructure needed to connect to the MWRA system.
Discussion on this matter began at the MWRA’s Executive Committee in the fall of 2021 and represented a thorough and active debate amongst the committee’s members. After each discussion, there were additional requests for information, which Advisory Board staff provided in coordination with MWRA staff. At its February 11, 2022 meeting, the Executive Committee voted 11 members in favor and 5 opposed to bring the proposal to the full Advisory Board for discussion and a potential vote.
Discussion at the Advisory Board was similarly thorough, with new concerns and questions being raised. The Advisory Board, again in coordination with MWRA staff, provided responses to these requests, and the motion was made at the June 16th Advisory Board meeting. This vote was conducted as a weighted vote of the Advisory Board with voting members totaling 61.64% of total vote share present. Of the quorum present, 97.14% voted in favor (19 members) 2.013% opposed (2 members), and 0.825% abstained (1 member) to recommend these modifications to the MWRA Board of Directors for their consideration.
Next steps are for the MWRA Board of Directors to discuss the Advisory Board’s proposal at a future meeting, and potentially to approve the proposed modifications.
The detailed packet of information that was provided to Advisory Board members can be found on our website by clicking below.