Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Opinion: Support The Mattabassett Referendum Question

The following is a letter to the editor by Thomas J. Serra, Former Mayor and Present Council Majority Leader.
I would like to take this opportunity to make the citizens of Middletown aware of the crucially important Mattabassett Referendum Question on the November 6th ballot.

It is critically important that we endorse this Mattabassett Sewer Project expenditure and our becoming a member of the District. The Mattabassett District located in Cromwell is made up of Charter town members New Britain, Berlin and Cromwell. They as well as we (Middletown's River Rd. Plant) are under a Federal EPA and State DEEP mandate to upgrade our plants. The City of Middletown through appropriate legislation has chosen to join the Mattabasett's endeavor to upgrade its sewer service. We have also been voted into the District by existing member towns.

The reasons to support a $37 million dollar bond investment that includes membership to the District, all piping, pump station and all ancillary items are as follows: 1) the upgrading of the Mattabassett plant will substantially improve the environment (effluence discharge into the Connecticut River) immensely. 2) It will stabilize sewer rates for all four towns involved for the near future 3) We will decommission our River Road sewer plant (another environmental plus). 4) If we (Middletown) are mandated to build our own Plant, it would cost us 15 to 20 million dollars more if we did it ourselves 5) Joining the Mattabassett and decommissioning our River Rd. Plant will enable us to finally embellish and astutely develop our beautiful Riverfront. 6) Because of our prudent and creative handling of our Bond finances, we will be able to handle this particular bond debt.

In addition, there will be available to us Federal (EPA) and State (DEEP) grants and low cost loans to substantially defray the cost of the project. The Mattabassett Bond Question is a future "Game Changer" as it relates to our Riverfront. Therefore, with all the aforementioned reasons in mind, I strongly and respectfully urge all eligible Middletown voters to vote "YES" for the Mattabassett Sewer District Bond referendum Question and more importantly, Middletown's future. Thank you.

Thomas J. Serra
Former Mayor and Present Council Majority Leader


John Hall said...

I agree with Stephen that it is vitally important for the voters of Middletown to pass this referendum. If for some reason it should not pass, the City will end up spending a lot more money to make the required improvements to our sewage treatment system.

Tree Fanatic said...

Being able to use more of our valuable riverfront for something more recreational than sewage treatment is a real plus, too!

Vinnie said...

Sounds like a excellent plan. Lets then use the land wisely!

Wendy Sheil said...

Looking forward to all the potential recreational uses for our waterfront and river area!

David Bauer said...

It amuses me greatly to suggest that Councilman Serra has significantly underestimated the savings he suggests in #4:

A. Our "Clean Water', and other gov't grants would be reduced by not using a regional solution.

B. Middletown would incur additional waste treatment expense while upgrading our local facility.

C. Middletown Sewer customers would be paying higher rates for the smaller scale waste treatment operation, and payment of the increased bonding interest.

The Sewer Rate will be going up, but not as much, and for not as long, than if Middletown goes it alone on Waste Treatment.

Voting "Yes" does open up the possibility of improved use of our treasured river waterfront, but it does not guarantee it. Given our PCD's penchant for privatizing profit and socializing costs, the 'usual suspects' are already trying to cut ahead of the taxpayers, whose $13MM investment should make them the primary investors.

The Jackson Corrugated proposal had better be a wake-up call for the level of vigilance necessary by the 'primary investors' in our riverfront.