Please consider this letter a formal endorsement supporting the re-election of Mr. Robert Schuler to the Shirley Sewer Commission. Election day is Tuesday, May 8.

Mr. Schuler has been for over six years an active, engaged and integral member to our commission. Mr. Schuler serves as vice-chair of the commission, liason to both our auditor, Melanson & Heath, and our legal counsel, Miyares & Harrington, and is also representing the town of Shirley at the Devens sewer treatment plant operated by Mass Development.

The Shirley Sewer Commission is pleased to report that the sewer enterprise fund is in good standing. We are on schedule and up to date with all our obligations and currently have a balance of $600,000 in our reserve fund. Our infrastructure includes the gravity system, with 15 miles of pipe, and the pressure system, with 4 miles of pipe, six pump stations, and two flow meters, all of which are functioning at optimum levels. Our infrastructure is valued at $16,813,762.47 and is maintained via contract by Weston and Sampson Engineer Co. Your usage rate has not increased in seven years and total flow volume is consistent with projections.

We are an enterprise fund, not a town department, which means our annual budget of $1.4 million appears on the annual Town Meeting warrant and is approved by the voters. Our betterment billing is passed through and sent with tax bills via the tax collector. Usage bills are sent from the sewer office. Funds collected are not commingled with other town funds. We pay $40,430 per year to the town, which reimburses the services required for billing and accounting, and office space at the town offices.

Maintaining a well run and efficient sewer enterprise fund is of utmost importance because we have 10 years to go on paying back the state’s portion of no-interest loans and 20 years to go on paying back conventional loans needed to cover costs not eligible for state no-interest loans. Also, we need to maintain a healthy reserve fund to compensate for any unclaimed betterments at the end of 20 years.

We believe that consistency in managing our sewer system is of utmost importance to those that are served by the system.

The re-election of Mr. Schuler will ensure that consistency. We reiterate that Mr. Schuler is an engaged, active member of our commission. We support his re-election and encourage you to join us in that support. Election day is May 8.