Monday, June 22, 2009

Sewer Deal Up Thursday

The city is being asked to permit construction of a regional sewerage pump station on city-owned land for a nominal fee, but a June 15 council discussion revealed that an alternate site may be acquired at market rate.

The matter was deferred to a special meeting to be held Thursday.

Councilman Adrian Mapp said June 15 he was not satisfied with the proposed deal with the city, saying it needed more discussion.

“Plainfield needs to do all it can to get the best arrangement for Plainfield out of this,” Mapp said. “It is not wise to move forward at this time.”

As Plaintalker understands the situation, two authorities, Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority and Plainfield Area Regional Sewerage Authority, had each planned separately to improve the pump station, but then decided to collaborate in order to use economic stimulus funding. Councilman William Reid, a former PMUA commissioner and now the council liaison to PMUA, said on June 15 the need for a new, gravity-feed pump station was identified in 2000. An initial plan to use a portion of a city-owned baseball field drew objections.

Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson said PMUA is now “under direction from the state” to build a new station replacing a century-old one. Since the entities agreed to work together on the project, they proposed paying $1 to acquire a portion of the Rock Avenue transfer station or alternatively to buy a privately owned parcel.

Williamson said the transfer station is valued at $15 million.

“The whole issue could go away if PMUA is successful in purchasing the (private) property,” Williamson said.

The private property in question was not identified.

The regional sewer system serves several communities besides Plainfield. Sewer flow from western Union County municipalities and some in Middlesex and Somerset counties goes through the local and regional system on the way to treatment by the Middlesex County Utilities Authority.

The question of compensation echoes one that accompanied the conversion of the former Plainfield Joint Meeting into PARSA many years ago. The city, as primary owner of the sewer system, received less than $9 million in the deal and several officials said they felt the city should have received more.

Thursday’s meeting is 8 p.m. in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mapp should realize that the campaign is over. He lost and it's over. We need to start to unify and move forward.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Bernice said...

Mapp still has three years on the City Council. As a member of the governing body, he is charged with studying the issues and speaking his mind. Isn't that what constituents expect of their elected officials?

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, let's go for market rate!! Why does the the administration want to sell for $1? Why do they sell our hopes so cheaply? Look at what happened at the Monarch. They sold the land to a developer for $1 and he built overpriced condomininiums that no one in their right mind would move into. Again, the city sold the land for $1.

There's supposed to be some ground floor space for senior citizens and veterans, but the city will have to pay condo fees and taxes on it anyway. Pathetic.

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this deal for $1 goes through Plainfielders will once again get the shaft!

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Solution to many ills: Have the mayor take a salary of $1. That will help the city budget and be in line with all the other single buck deals she likes to cut.

10:40 AM  

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