Sunday, November 09, 2008

PMUA Sets Rate Hearing

In the Fall 2008 PMUA newsletter, the effect of rising costs was spelled out. Fuel and oil costs are rising, as well as fleet maintenance costs, solid waste operating costs, sewer operating costs and corporate insurance.

The part you didn’t hear was that there is a public hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. on Nov. 24 at the Authority’s offices at 127 Roosevelt Avenue “to discuss and take action with respect to adjustments to certain sewer charges and solid waste rates, fees and surcharges.”

The Authority has also rescheduled its regular meeting on Nov. 13 to 7 p.m. Nov. 24.

It has been this reporter’s experience that, unlike other authorities, PMUA does not post ads in newspapers noting the present rates and those proposed. You have to be there to see what happens. True, experts give presentations with rationales for changes in rates, but reporters have to take notes darn fast to get the details at these meetings.

Here is the clinker: Nov. 24 just happens to be the date of a City Council agenda session at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Library, several blocks away from the PMUA headquarters. This reporter has made the trek from 127 Roosevelt to 515 Watchung in the past, once in a snowstorm, and it is not fun.

With City Council meetings on Nov. 10 and 17 and Board of Education meetings on Nov. 11 and 18, plus a Planning Board meeting Nov. 20 and this clash of meetings Nov. 24, put me down for meeting fatigue.

But among all these meetings, it may well be a citizen’s best bet to show up at 6 p.m. Nov. 24 and hear what the PMUA proposes to cover its costs. A public hearing means that you, the public, can have your say. So go for it!

--Bernice Paglia


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