Updated: Oct 31
To the Editor:
The lack of transparency about the $18.8m water and sewer (WSA) judgment against Watertown is troubling.
The Town Council and municipal departments were supposed to provide information and answer questions about the judgment at the September 7 forum. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Town Manager Raimo announced that the Council could not speak because of a Freedom of Information issue. The approximately 100 attendees asked countless questions, and the Town provided few answers. Even more disturbing, a call to Tom Hennick of the State FOI Commission later confirmed that there was no FOI issue that would have prevented the Council from speaking.
At the September 18 Town Council meeting some WSA questions were addressed. It looked like our leadership had not thought about all the issues until the public surfaced them at the Forum.
It was said that ratepayers will not have to pay this in a lump sum as a bond will be sought to pay any outstanding amounts owed to Waterbury. Does the WSA issue their own bonds or are they Watertown bonds? Since this liability was never disclosed in an audit, can bonding be secured? What impact will that have on the interest rate? Any bond secured is material to the Town because it impacts future bonding.
It appears that whoever is a rate paying property owner when this is finally settled will be stuck paying a bond, regardless of how long they owned their property. Buyers beware.