Sharing Long Island Sound's Upgrade Costs: More on Westchester's Dilemma
I wrote that I, a county resident who does not live in a sewer district, would consider an increase in my county taxes to pay for the Sound cleanup but first I'd like to have an idea of how much that increase might be.
Edward J. Bateson, chairman of the Town of Fairfield's Water Pollution Control Authority the commission that oversees how Fairfield's sewage system is run -- sent me his thoughts on the issue, and they're similar to mine: Long Island Sound is worth the extra cost. Here's what he wrote:
Apportionment of treatment plant upgrade costs over indirect users of the sewer system is a tough sell.
In Fairfield, CT about a decade ago we dealt with the subject. As a municipality we spread the $38 million upgrade cost over the entire towns' tax base, not just sewer users. I believe we are only one of two towns in CT to take this approach.
I was originally opposed to this. After months of debate I changed my mind. I changed my mind for several reasons. The main reason being that it aint all about nitrogen removal goals, engineering studies and low contract bidders; it is about Long Island Sound. It is our legacy and the example we set for generations to come.
All of us benefit from clean water - even those that do not have their sewage treated at the plants in question. Why should I pay for a highway upstate that I have never used, and probably never will use? Its' what we do. Collaborative resources to advance the publics' best interest. In this case the best interest of the public being a cleaner Long Island Sound.