District 6 City Councillor Giovanni Recupero is once again advocating for a plan that would give Chelsea homeowners a break on their water and sewer bills.
A Home Rule Petition Recupero wants the state legislature to act upon would provide a 25 percent discount on water and sewer bills for owner-occupants of condominiums and single to four-family homes in Chelsea.
The City Council recently agreed to hold a public hearing on Recupero’s proposal.
According to the Councillor, the water and sewer discount is needed because “homeowners in the City of Chelsea have been burdened with high sewer and water rates due to escalating MWRA charges and the need to upgrade obsolete water and sewer infrastructure in the City.”
In addition, Recupero stated the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have exacerbated financial pressures on Chelsea homeowners.
This isn’t the first time Recupero has attempted to get water and sewer rate relief for Chelsea homeowners.
In 2018, the council approved Recupero’s measure for a 10 percent discount on water and sewer bills. The discount was for all units in any owner-occupied single, two-family, or three-family homes or any owner-occupied condominium that has an individual water meter.
In addition to the water and sewer rate relief, Recupero also introduced an order to the council recently asking that City Manager Thomas Ambrosino look into the feasibility of using some of the $15 million the city is getting in ARPA (American relief act funds) to provide relief to homeowners on their real estate tax bills.
“I believe the homeowners were affected by Covid-19 the same as anybody else, but no money goes to them,” said Recupero. “I would like to see some money go to them, provide them with some type of relief, because that money was for Covid, everybody else who was affected by Covid got money, or are getting money, but the poor homeowners who are affected by Covid are getting nothing. I’m not saying don’t make them pay their taxes, they have to pay their taxes, but maybe give them some type of relief.”
Recupero said the amount of relief available to homeowners can be debated, but that they deserve some consideration.
“One year, we say here, we’re going to give you $1,000, or we’re going to give you $50, or we’re going to give you $10, at least to get something for the homeowners,” said Recupero.