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The Sewer Saga Continues
We are indeed now seeing the beginnings of the predicted sewer rate increases.
It seems there is much more work that needs to be done, and there just isn't enough money (again) in the till to stop the massive overflows that are still occurring.
We have been talking about the areas of concern, and the existance of the New Albany "Potty Police", which is a team of hardy souls (God luv 'em) who go out and document each and every overflow and gushing giser of raw sewage that explodes into the streets and streams of our fair(?) city with more regularity than most of us can claim ourselves.
The system is apparently plauged with problems, not all of which are claimed to be related to the failings of the lines.
If you didn't catch it in the hard copy, read the Courier Journal article regarding the EPA investigation into allegations of "sabatoge" to the sewer computer system last month that resulted in an overflow of about 5 million gallons of raw sewage. Just click on the link at the bottom of this posting.
Meanwhile, we've assembled some thoughts and questions from readers who are quite concerned about just how and when, and how much, it will be before we finally get any relief from the frequent release of raw sewage from the failing system.
I'd like to know the answers to the following questions, as a sewer rate payer, since it seems they're talking about ANOTHER sewer rate hike.
The first $40 million just didn't seem to get it. Gee.
1. Why did the City (attorney Greg Fifer) give Georgetown an extension for repayment of the monies they owe; especially since they had it, and they have now lost their Riverboat money. Because they were saving it to pay us?
THIS $2 MILLION WILL FALL TO THE RATE PAYERS!
2. Is Georgetown going to build their own plant? Or, will Lanesville do it for them?
3. Are any of these big overflows the past few weeks related to Ruckman's lines coming into the Robert E. Lee station?
Testimony was given at the State level the Robert E. Lift and Corydon Pike and every other line would and could handle these new lines, without further construction. Is it coincidence that overflows have increased since the Ruckman line came on?
4. Rate payers testified at the State level, when we got the State Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) bonds, that this "plan" would not work (as did then Councilman Garner). We testified as to the Robert E. Lift, Corydon Pike, the inner City, etc., etc., all being left out of this "plan". Nothing was getting fixed, the system was only being expanded. This was the WRONG plan.
Now, who was correct, and do you really think anyone's going to give the City more bonds, based upon our track record of non-compliance?
5. Do you think they will do a formal rate study, as REQUIRED by law? We're not sure they did so the last time. We cannot allow them to continue skirting the laws.
I'm worried. Worried for the rate payers, because we STILL HAVE TO FIX THE SEWERS, AGAIN! Who's got the money? And this Administration wants salary raises?
6. The chronological order of events are this: Overton signed the new amended Consent Decree; she selected the "plan" in a matter we won't tackle right now; she sold the Bonds, and she started the construction, and demanded it be done before she left office. Garner is just finishing up her work and signing legal documents that we're just not sure he should be signong, because of the lack of certain things we also won't go into (like good legal advice, etc.).
7. How many of these individuals involved with the sewer "plan" actually read the Consent Decree with the EPA? It was required reading, per the agreement, for anyone touching our sewers. Hmmmmmm.
Mayor Garner, could you please give us the answer to this one?
Like the Potty Police say, how many more MILLIONS DO YOU WANT TO SPEND? I wonder?
You should wonder too.
I'm worried at the liability this City (US) may face due to some of the actions we have caused/undertaken because of the conflicts of interest between the Sewer Board Attorney and certain developers. How can one attorney represent both?
The EPA seems to have a handle on some issues (sabatoge?), and the State has to be involved in any negotiations, so we'll see. The press is now getting involved, and these are all good signs for tax and rate payers. We know the administration does not like the EPA. But, we the public, need to realize the city is in litigations, and therefore they cannot talk directly to each other. The EPA, however, can talk to us, as citizens, all day long, because they work for us. Right now, I'm banking on the EPA.
There was a prediction made when all of this originally went down, and that was:
The "Plan" would not work; there would be a cover-up; the cover-up would be exposed; and then the chips would fall where they may.
Which stage do you feel we are in now, seeing we still haven't started our 1 year test period by the EPA, nor have we gotten any credits, and we're having several mysterious overflows. There is a lawsuit going on with ADM (sewer contractors), etc. You tell me what you think.
It ain't heavy, it's my money! It's your money too.