Questions ‘behind-the-scenes’ workings of water company

To the Editor:

Special July meetings are being held in Connecticut to discuss whether the British Aquarion Water Co. will be allowed to squeeze a 32% rate increase out of tax burdened Connecticut citizens.

Originally, Aquarion asked for a 6% increase, then April 16 of this year, they asked for 16.8%. The meetings will probably grant Aquarion about half of 32%, which is far more than they deserve.

I would like to know the behind-the-scenes story. How a small group of English businessmen, whose Yorkshire Water business had been closed by the British government, could arrive on our shores and within a month’s time, walk off with our entire southern Connecticut water supply — lakes, streams, reservoirs and 17,000 acres of prime forest — all for less than half a billion dollars.

We just celebrated our annual Independence Day — freedom from British taxation — with parades, cook-outs and fireworks. How could the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Attorney General Blumenthal, all officials sworn and paid to protect and defend our citizen’s, all cheered on by our newspaper editors, allow for a quick sell-off of our water supply and thousands of acres of prime forests — our children’s’ heritage, for which thousands of our soldiers were wounded and died to protect?

As a veteran of World War II, my heart cries out at the sight of thousands of healthy trees cut down along the Merritt Parkway and hauled away from the Easton Reservoir. England has been buying hundreds of thousands of acres of our New England forests for many years.

Our entire nation celebrated a wondrous Fourth Of July celebrating the sacrifices made in a hard fought Revolutionary War victory to free ourselves the British dominance and taxation. Why were our officials, state government and special interests so enthusiastic to support the sell-out of our natural resources our soldiers sacrificed their lives to defend and protect? Rain drops, pennies from heaven, a natural gift bringing fresh water to 625,000 people in 47 Connecticut communities.

I am not surprised that Aquarion is asking a 32% interest in rates. What I am angry and disappointed about is that a few businessmen came here from England in June 1999 and with the blessings of our Public Utilities Service, Attorney General Blumenthal, and all other  necessary officials, plus newspaper editors, agreed to the quick sell-off of our Southern Connecticut public water supply — lakes, streams, reservoirs, plus 18,700 acres of priceless land and trees around the lakes — all sold off for a measly $599.

While our government gives away $12 billion in foreign aid every year, why were our elected protectors so anxious to quickly sell out our children’s heritage? What other nation is stupid or greedy enough to do that?

I am outraged that the Yorkshire Water Co. set up shop in Bridgeport, under the original Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. name to buy up Long lsland’s water, New Jersey’s water and water supply of other states. Aquarion increased its profits by selling portions of Aquarion to Canada and Australia. Meanwhile,   the U.S. bleeds a $16 trillion deficit and is free-falling into a serious economic depression.

In addition to discussing how much more we will have to pay Aquarion for our water, we should demand that our government hold a Senate investigation to review the loss of our natural resources our nation is suffering all over our country and laws to save and protect all of our natural resources.

We should hold meetings to demand a local investigation and explanation why a few businessmen, heartily welcomed, given prompt and enthusiastic treatment, could return home within a few weeks with a tremendously profitable contract and tremendous profits huge profits through eternity for less than half a billion dollars and be allowed to set up shop as  Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. to buy our precious natural water supply from all over the United States.

 

Dick De Witt

Fairfield

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