---------------------------> Joel R. Anderson
13 George Drive
Old Saybrook CT 06475-2636
4 April 2011
Michael E. Cronin, Jr.
Old Saybrook Town Counsel
201 Main Street, P.O. Box 454
Old Saybrook CT 06475
Re: your 25Mar11 "Wastewater Management District" (quoted).
Dear Town Counsel Cronin:
As indicated in his letter to you, I strongly urge
you to meet with Mr. Pace at your earliest
convenience so that he can explain to you the rather
complex financing arrangements the Town was required
to do in order to enact the Sewer Avoidance Program.
Mr. Pace could have answered my letters. By "complex
financing arrangements" do you mean the lies the Town told
to get Federal money?
The language that was set forth in the Town Meeting
was a Resolution which was drafted by the Town of
Old Saybrook Bond Counsel.
I was under the impression that you, Mr. Cronin, are counsel
to the Town of Old Saybrook, not counsel to Old Saybrook's
Bond Counsel, or counsel to Michael A. Pace, 1st Selectman.
It was done in a manner which would legally allow
the Town of Old Saybrook to receive the full funding
of the project under the Federal Clean Water Act. A
basic concept of this Act is that in order to
receive the total amount of funds, the legislative
body of the Town (in Old Saybrook, the Town Meeting)
must appropriate the full amount.
Do I have this right? The Town represents that it has
"sewers," though its "sewers" are actually septic systems
declared to be "sewers" (because they're within a WWMD),
because it needs Federal money for "sewers" - and the Town
thinks that by failing to call a thing by its right name
makes this legal.
As the project proceeds, and the monies from the
Federal government are received, they are broken
down into a formula in which 25% of the funds are an
outright grant to the Town which needs not to be
re-paid, and 25% is advanced on the basis of a loan
which must be re-paid at 2% on a 20-year basis.
Irrelevant as far as WWMD property owners are concerned.
The remaining 50% will be the primary obligation of
the individual property owner who receives the benefit
of the on-site upgrade of that property owner's
When and by whom was this decided? No one voted for Old
Saybrook's Bond Counsel. Referendum Question 2 said that the
Town would pay. The 50% obligation on the part of property
owners still needs explanation. The supposed "benefit" is
bogus. Sewers would be a benefit. The WWMD isn't sewers.
The Town hasn't thought through what having "sewers" means.
If the Town conflates septic systems and sewers, then the
Town must provide, at Town expense, all the services that
real sewers provide: installation, repair, replacement and
maintenance (including AT systems), forever. Instead of a
"Water Pollution Control Authority," the Town will have a
"Sewer Department" in charge of a scattered system that's
impossible to manage on private property.
This 50% will be in the nature of a lien against the
property owner's property, and will be repaid by the
property owner at the 2% rate over the same 20-year
period. If, for whatever reason, a property owner
neglects or fails to pay his, her, or its share of
the project, then the Town of Old Saybrook (and its
taxpayers) guarantee and are required to make that
WWMD owners are on the hook under their "joint and several"
liability. Why does the Town think the Town can make WWMD
owners pay twice? Why would there be a lien against owners
for something the Town wanted, the Town voted for, and the
Town appropriated the money to pay for?
Under the Town's theory, the Town could require owners with
boats in North Cove to pay half the cost of the Town's
fireboat or have liens placed against their property.
The Town's failure to manage its wastewater is not anything
that WWMD owners had a part in. Many, if not most, owners,
are owners in due course. As such, they had a right to
expect that the Town was managing its wastewater properly.
Town codes and permits are supposed to prevent the precise
situation that WWMD owners find themselves in today, the
Town trying to rob their pocketbook for the Town's mistake.
The WWMD is not a tax district. Tax districts raise and
spend their own money. Tax districts have undiluted
representation. The WWMD doesn't pass this test. The Town
does, but the Town doesn't want to pay. Why not? politics!
Very truly yours,
Joel R. Anderson
N.B: a copy of this letter is posted to oswpca.com.
Electronic and paper copies have been distributed
to interested parties.
c, via email:
Michael A. Pace, firstname.lastname@example.org,
William A. Peace, email@example.com,
Carol Manning, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Sarah Becker, email@example.com,