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$38 million question

Meeting provides some information on proposed water district

July 31, 2013

It was billed as an informational meeting and some 40 people were on hand Tuesday in Dunkirk’s City Hall to hear more about a proposed North County Water District....

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Aug-01-13 1:47 PM

DKexpat... I have to ask as you are constantly on here telling us how wonderful consolidation is.... Are all public employees down there unionized with the high salaries, guaranteed wage increases, job guarantees, extensive benefits and generous retirements etc. that public employees get here?????? Jes' asking.

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Jul-31-13 10:56 PM

we like others see "gray" areas in this report, we also suspect that city residents will be paying the city and the county for water the concern here is what will this city's residents be paying for the $38 million, after all there is no free lunch...

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Jul-31-13 8:43 PM

As usual for this area the mere mention of change strikes fear in the hearts of most. It brings about wild speculation and predictions of devastation and doom. Long before any facts are known public opinion will be swayed against another project that would make a difference. We will all return to sitting on our hands and watch jobs and taxpayers leave the area. We will demand that our elected officials magically bring jobs and prosperity to the area BUT DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES AS WE WILL FOREVER REMAIN SUBMERCED IN THE GLORY DAYS OF THE PAST!!!!!

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Jul-31-13 2:35 PM

Exactly...Only 3% of the water on the planet is fresh water and we're polluting it and running out of it. Last I heard, every living thing, including human beings, need it to live...I guess that's a market. No wonder the powers that be are buying it up in a hurry.

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Jul-31-13 2:28 PM

markindunkirk...water is only a gold mine if you have someone to sell it to at a price that creates a profit!

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Jul-31-13 11:52 AM

The water district will start out by taking on the 17 million debt and the 3 million improvements to the plant--what a way to start. Relieve Dunkirk of its debt and let everyone else take it on! Money will be needed to extend water lines to many places without it now, not to mention the expense of water storage towers and pumps, 38 million will not close to being enough! And getting that 38 mil is not guaranteed anyhow.

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Jul-31-13 10:16 AM

I understand the lure of that "free money". But, I have to ask, in the long haul what are the expenses to operate such a system? Water will need to be pumped to the areas this district will serve. Those pumps are expensive to run, The grant won't cover operating expenses. What will the water rates actually have to be? Sorry, I don't trust anything Edwards says anymore. It MAY turn out to be a good idea, maybe even a great one. However, that being said, lots of study needs to be done, and OBJECTIVELY.

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Jul-31-13 10:00 AM

I think this whole thing is going to be a non issue because I do not think there will be any 38 million!!

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Jul-31-13 9:59 AM

“Water is the oil of the 21st century.” -Andrew Liveris, CEO of DOW Chemical Company (2008)

Wall Street and global investment firms, banks, and other elite private-equity firms - are moving rapidly into the water sector to buy up not only water rights and water-treatment technologies, but also to privatize public water utilities and infrastructure.

Read the article: ***********alternet****/story/105083/why_big_banks_may_be_trying_to_buy_up_your_public_water_system/

Why any municipality would WANT to give up the rights to it's water treatment plant is beyond me. I think Fredonia & Dunkirk have every right to be wary because water is a goldmine!

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Jul-31-13 9:20 AM

Does anyone trust Edwards anymore. I supported his county home sale project, but I think the guy has some issues with the truth.

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Jul-31-13 9:02 AM

Missing from this report are any projected costs for water users. Mr. Edwards said that the district would lower costs "in the long run" but how long is the long run? The devil is in the detail and the big question might be "is Dunkirk willing to relinquish control of the water facility?" My gut feeling is that we have to become more regional and more cost-effective if we are to compete for private sector investment.

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Jul-31-13 8:55 AM

From past incidents it is obvious that the city cannot maintain or upgrade services it provides without a consent order. Look at what it cost to upgrade the sewage plant. Look at what its costing to upgrade the water plant. Just look around the city. Roads are in disrepair, pot holes are the norm, houses are falling apart, business is just about non existent. A water district at this point in time sounds like a good idea providing the city does not have control. On the down side in a few years the city will lose all control of the Water Plant to the county. The driving force at this time is the $38 million. And once again the money is the driving factor. Wake up council look at all the angles before committing to something your going to regret later.

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Jul-31-13 8:36 AM

My county has consolidated services - schools, fire & rescue, police, highway - as well as a consolidated water district.

it all seems to work jes' fine...

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Jul-31-13 8:13 AM

Not sure where $38M for existing infrastructure upgardes qualifies as "economic development" as defined and agreed to with the Regional Economic Development Council. The REDC has identified 10 strategic areas for economic development and upgrading infrastructure -- which municipalities should have done earlier and by themselves -- isn't one of them.

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Jul-31-13 7:03 AM

Council should think long and hard before agreeing to anything involving the water treatment plant because water is quickly becoming a valuable commodity. According to a 2010 Newsweek article, “the rights to divert water—from a river or lake or underground aquifer—are indeed sellable commodities; so too are the plants and pipes that process that water and deliver it to our taps. And as demand outstrips supply, those commodities are set to appreciate precipitously. According to a 2009 report by the World Bank, private investment in the water industry is set to double in the next five years; the water-supply market alone will increase by 20 percent.” Ownership of the plant has always been a concern and the scenario of Dunkirk being able to lease the plant to the water district had never been stressed as a possibility until yesterday. A regional water district is a good idea, but the option to renegotiate the lease needs to be in any agreement made with the district.

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