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Letter to the Editor: How to pay for a wish list by Hopewell Township

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To the Editor:

Chapter One – Find somebody else to pay for it.

So learned the members of the Washington Crossing Water Utility about the township’s plan to bring its 50-year-old safely operating community well into state-of–the-art perfection at an “informational” meeting on June 12.

Chapter Two - Saddle the 105 captive users with $2.2 million in unnecessary upgrades paid for by unneeded rate increases.

Apparently, nothing but the best was considered by those who don’t pay a dollar into the system, but can force water utility users to pay out many dollars.

Chapter Three – Give the appearance of community outreach, but stack the deck to prevent actual community involvement.

The township scheduled the meeting for an unreasonable 6 p.m. start time, before many get home from work, instead of the standard 7 p.m. meeting start time. Then, they sandwiched the meeting before a 7 p.m. special planning board meeting. By design, the township insured that those attending would be limited to one hour and not all receive public answers to their questions. The meeting was not recorded in any manner, like every other important public meeting. By design, the township insured that those with prior commitments could not hear the questions of their neighbors or the answers received.

Whether or not the meeting was actually informational depended upon where you sat in the room. While township presenters claimed that the meeting was informational, water utility users in attendance left with anger, frustration, and a multitude of unanswered questions by the end of their allotted one hour.

Chapter Four – Hope that none of the 105 water utility members read their NJ Department of Environmental Protection annual water quality report.

Three days after the meeting on June 15, water utility users were told that their “drinking water meets all federal and state safety requirements.”

The End.

Harvey Lester



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