Water Main Break in Worcester Demonstrates Need to Invest in our Communities

Last Monday evening (November 12th) I started noticing all these Facebook posts from my friends in Worcester claiming that they had no water. It seemed unlikely to me that everyone I knew in Worcester was without water, but as it turns out, that was precisely the case. A 30-inch water main broke on Monday afternoon and the city was forced to shut off the water to the entire community.

The water was back on by early on Tuesday morning, but people had to boil water before they could drink it for an additional 24 hours. The whole episode highlighted the age and deteriorating condition of Worcester's infrastructure. The pipe that failed, for example, was built in 1880, and unfortunately, infrastructure is not Worcester's only problem. The City is struggling to keep elementary school classrooms under 25 students, and has had to dismantle its community policing program over the last several years due to cuts in local aid.

Worcester is hardly unique. Communities all across the Commonwealth have a backlog of infrastructure needs, difficulties keeping their schools up to par, and a variety of human service needs with which they simply can't pace. Communities like Worcester need enhanced support from the state, and there is no way to do that without raising revenue to increase support for locally-provided services.

The City of Worcester dealt with their water main break quickly and efficiently. But I think we can all agree that it would be better to invest in our infrastructure to keep it in good repair, invest in our people to keep them well-educated and healthy, and invest in our economy so we can create and maintain good jobs across the Commonwealth. We can only do that by raising revenue.