To The Daily Sun,
Allegations have been leveled against the Ashland Electric Department, in your paper dated Oct. 15. We would like to set the record straight.
The referenced flag pole would have a grand total cost of approximately 20 cents a month for 500 KWH or $2.40 for a period of one year. A small price to pay for something as symbolic as the American flag. We have received many comments about how proud our ratepayers are and their contribution. The original intent was for the Ashland Electric Department to operate and maintain the flag and pole. However, the Ashland Board of Selectmen has voted to take control out of our hands.
We have approximately $500,000 worth of vehicles and materials sitting outside and slowly deteriorating. Our new building can stop this process. The Electric Department is a franchise, as is the Ashland Water & Sewer Departments. Within RSA 38:2, backed by RSA 35:15, the commissioners can name themselves as agents and can then expend capital reserve monies as needed without a vote of the people. This is not the case with the Board of Selectmen.
As to the North Ashland Road Project, had the selectmen not confiscated over $430,000 in 1999 from the Electric Department, the transfer from the old poles, wires and transformers to the new poles would have been completed within the five-year estimate. Then it was asked of the voters to forgive this debt that the general fund owed the Electric Department Fund, in 2001, in violation of state law.
We do not butt our noses into other business of the town. Why do others persist in butting into ours as our rates are for all intents and purposes the lowest in the state and maybe New England. Please also note, our rates have not changed since 2010.
Sandra Coleman, Chair
Daniel Vaughn, Member
David Fucarile, Member
Town of Ashland
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