OSWPCA: Sunshine / WPCA - The Town Agreed to Pay - 20Oct2012

Text facsimile

--------------------------> Joel R. Anderson

                            13 George Drive
                            Old Saybrook CT 06475-2636
                            860 388-9858
                            oswpca.com
                            govtwork.org
                            20 October 2012

WPCA Chairman Elsa Payne
Old Saybrook Town Hall
302 Main St
Old Saybrook CT 06475-2369

Dear Chairman Payne:

Here below is a Letter to the WPCA, to be read into the Minutes according to precedent set at the Regular Meeting, 24 September 2012, with the reading into the Minutes of a letter from "John K Conkling."

:Start reading

The Town Agreed to Pay

Regarding the Sept. 27 article [in Harbor News] "Septic Team Moves Ahead," a March 2009 FAQ posting on the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) website said, "The referendum will include a vote on...establishing the WWMD [Wastewater Management District] and approval of associated funding to implement the program [emphasis added]."

The August 2009 referendum asked, "Question 2. Shall the Town of Old Saybrook appropriate $42,171,200 for the design and construction of decentralized wastewater management systems within the decentralized WWMD and...finance said appropriation, and provide ongoing funding of administrative costs for the systems?"

My March 23, 2011 query to then-first selectman Michael Pace, "What part of 'for the design and construction' don't you understand? When was it decided otherwise and by whom?" went unanswered.

Your story states, "The septic system replacement program both reduces ground-water pollution and addresses potential safety issues posed by aging septic tanks" according to the WPCA site manager.

Septic upgrades are preventative, not remedial. Upgrades don't reduce ground-water pollution. Where there's no pollution, upgrades are a destruction of wealth. Neither the town, nor health district, nor Department of Energy and Environmental Protection allege that any homeowner's system is polluting.

The story states, "[H]omeowners in the WWMD pay 50 percent of the cost to replace or upgrade their systems to meet modern health code standards. Each homeowner can choose in turn to finance their cost-share with a long-term, low- interest loan by tapping federal Clean Water grant funds."

Federal Clean Water Funds are only available for publicly owned waste treatment works. My June 8 query to WPCA Chair Elsa Payne, "Are Old Saybrook's sewers 'publicly owned waste treatment works' or privately owned septic systems?" went unanswered.

Why is the town asking homeowners to pay half (or all) the cost of upgrading their septic systems when the town, by referendum, agreed to pay?

:End reading.

The WPCA had the text of my Letter to Harbor News by email in advance of publication. Feel free to (optionally) read (or cut and paste) the prepublication text into the Minutes.
                             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.

An electronic version of my Letter can be found here,
http://www.theday.com/article/20121008/OP02/310119985/
published in Harbor News, Letters, 11Oct2012.
c:
Sarah Becker, Town Clerk
Town of Old Saybrook
302 Main Street
Old Saybrook CT 06475-2384