Opinion: Don’t Sell The Sewer System
by Brian Coll
This is my opinion, and like everyone else I am entitled to my opinion. My opinion is also fact based. You can agree with me, not agree with me. I don’t care. One way or the other, Conshohocken, West Conshohocken, Plymouth residents are going to feel a pinch in their pocket if the Conshohocken Sewer Authority is sold. If the Sewer system is not sold, Conshohocken residents are going to feel a pinch in their pockets. Here’s why.. currently the Conshohocken sewer system services residents in Conshohocken, West Conshohocken and Plymouth. I am not sure about how the Whitemarsh system lines up with Conshohocken’s sewer system. Whitemarsh has it’s own extensive system.
If, Conshohocken Borough Council listens to the people they were elected to serve (because not one person I know in the general public has said, great idea, let’s sell the sewer system) and decides Not to sell.. then the work begins on how to finance the long term infrastructure. This can be achieved in a few ways, and I will let other people discuss mega loans and such.
My thing is this… pump the brakes. The large companies that are bidding currently would love the chance to bid again in a few years if the Borough decides not to accept a bid tomorrow. Did I forget to mention that? Tomorrow March 17th borough council is discussing accepting a bid on OUR sewer system. This is OURS as the Borough of Conshohocken. If borough council decides to sell, it will be to a large company, looking to make money forever…. FOREVER!
The simple math is to take out a loan as the borough to discuss the infrastructure repairs and use a temporary tax to help differ the costs as opposed to selling the sewer authority and everything that goes with it, including rates that current homeowners and residents can afford.
As far as the sewer authority itself, we as a borough have been lucky to have Ed Mongan and before him Stephen Clark as Operations Managers. These are homegrown people who care about the community. The folks driving the trucks around our borough are from here, have worked here a long time and know our system. I am not sure what a sale would mean to them.
There is an opposition group, you can find the group on Facebook. In my opinion whoever came up with the name kind of followed the Norristown organization, I think there could have been a better name for the Conshohocken Group. No where does it mention sewer, look up COPE for Conshohocken Opposing Privatization Effort. You could be confused and I know a few people I steered towards the group didn’t understand it either, but that is neither here nor there.
I wanted to keep this short and sweet. You can reach out to your council person and let them know how you feel. In the end, if borough council accepts a bid, it will probably come with a buffer period where rates won’t go up, and then when that time runs out, get ready for large increases.
Thanks for taking a minute to read.