Water, Water Everywhere – Lies About Cost And Supply



To The Editor – Rockland Voice
From – Charles Clewsow

Last year the Rockland Legislature approved a 4% tax on our electric and heating bills. This amounted to about $20 a month per household.  Now Legislator John Grant’s company Orange and Rockland is asking for another $34 increase in your electric bill.

Not a peep out of Grant but he, Harriet Cornell and Christopher St. Lawrence (CSL) are sure active in attacking our water company, endangering our future water supply.

Consider this: together these two increases alone total $54.00 a month which is greater than the current average water bill and about 4-5 times the amount it would have cost for DESAL, had it been started in 2006 when United Water was ordered by the Public Service Commission to find a secondary source of water. So, why is Harriet Cornell and her Water Commission investigating privately owned United Water and not the other utilities? What about government-owned Suffern Water, Nyack Water?

Political attacks on United Water have endangered our future water supply. The world’s supply of water is 97% Salt and Brackish with about 3% coming from rainfall. Rockland politicians completely ignore getting our water, a life sustaining product, from the 97% source (DESAL) and want to rely on the 3% source, rainfall and recycled wastewater from a serial polluting Sewer District run by Christopher St. Lawrence (CSL). Any wonder why we are now in a Stage One Drought after Cornell calculated we do not need a secondary source of water until 2020? Really Harriet?

Even if you believe in the model of Sustainable Development, which both United Water and Cornell/CSL advocate, do they really think there will be an adequate supply of water from rainfall, treated waste water and fixing “leaks“?  Many of these “leaks” will never be fixed since they really consist of non-metered water (stolen water) and non-revenue water from hydrants?  What will be be cost of treating wastewater, making it drinkable? At present, this water is highly polluted. The technology is questionable and costly.

As chairwoman of the Rockland County Legislature Harriet Cornell presided over destruction of Rockland County and left Ed Day with $42,000 in the register to run the entire County. Does she have the expertise to determine the source our water supply? I doubt it.

Our Wastewater operations (sewers) run by Christopher St. Lawrence, under FBI investigation, and bobble-head commissioners like Aney Paul, recently had a judgment for $950,000 rendered against it for polluting the Saddle River over a number of years. Look no further to what CSL has done to Ramapo. Is this the group most qualified to run our Wastewater operations?

In a recent message, County Executive Ed Day wrote: “We need water and sewer systems that support and protect Rockland’s environment and natural resources.” I will add “an adequate clean supply” to that goal and say that Ed Day is 100% correct.

It is time for the wastewater operations to be taken away from the serial polluting management of Christopher St Lawrence.  I strongly suggest that this business be privatized. The private sector will do better job, pay a lot of income, real estate and school taxes, help with our charities and provide good high paying jobs for many Rocklanders. It is unconscionable not to, at a minimum, request bid proposals and send RFP’s to qualified companies, including United Water which last year took over the wastewater operations of Nassau County, saving over $220 million.  The savings here could be substantial.

It also time to tell Harriet Cornell and her paid hit men to step aside and let the the private sector handle the business of delivering clean water to our homes like they have been doing successfully for decades at a reasonable price.  In fact the next time you pay your water bill, understand that 37% of that bill consists of taxes put there by politicians like Cornell, whose campaign against United Water was based on cost? Ludicrous when you analyze it! We have been lied to by our politicians. I have a $40/Month budget for water and usually run a credit balance. As most Rocklanders, we do not waste water and do watch our water use very carefully. For our family, our before tax monthly water bill is about $25.00 a month, less than a dollar a day. What is yours?

We been deceived by our politicians.  Better to admit it now and confine the damage than to let them go ahead destroying your future water supply and milking wastewater operations under the guise of ‘Sustainability’ and the ‘price of water’.

It is time to fight back. Tell your legislator that you want wastewater operations to be privatized and tell Harriet Cornell to stop wasting our hard earned tax money investigating and attacking United Water under the phony premise of saving ratepayers money because that is just another big lie.

“One of the penalties of not participating in politics is that you will be governed by your inferiors.”Plato

[The author is a thirty-eight year resident of Clarkstown and is a retired executive from the financial services industry.]

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