To the Editor,
I’d like to respond to the June 25 letter from Legislator Harriet Cornell titled, “Was United Water’s Desalination Plant a Prudent Decision?” First of all, the recent New York State Public Service Commission (“NYC PSC”) staff report on need confirms that more water is needed although just a few years later than originally expected. It seems to me that United Water was following the PSC’s orders to get the county more water. Irrespective of one’s position on the desalination plant, the circumstances surrounding this proposal are quite clear and Harriet Cornell played a lead role in the process. Now Legislator Cornell is calling for the NYS PSC to launch a Prudence Investigation, which would be unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money. United Water has carefully studied this project and has provided hundreds of pages of information to the DEC outlining the project and substantiating the need for it.
And speaking of taxpayer money, I find it very curious that Legislator Cornell is so focused now on United Water’s relatively small rate increases but she was the Chair of the Rockland Legislature when the County of Rockland accumulated $140 million in debt! The fiscal mismanagement of the legislature under her watch led to layoffs and increased taxes that were real hardships for Rockland residents. I think she should focus less on the water bills of Rockland residents and more on straightening out the county’s fiscal situation, which would have a much greater impact on county residents. Better yet, maybe we should ask for an audit of the county’s fiscal activities under Cornell’s watch! We may be very surprised at the results.
John T. Purvis