Dave Barnes stated that St. Clair Township “explored every option” while negotiating with Swansea; but the township handed them 3,200 customers. Now he makes it sound like the township is trying to “help” these 3,200 customers. Trustee Mary Carroll states she “is disappointed” in Swansea’s response. If she did not agree with it, then why did she sign it?
Swansea asked for $1 million to help defray costs of the new plant. The township raised everyone’s rates in 2010 in anticipation of paying this. The sewer fund had around $1.5 million, but now has $4.8 million. The township could have paid this amount. Instead after five years of negotiating, the township gave these accounts away. Customers have asked why and were told, “Swansea was going to take them anyway,” or the township would reclaim these accounts by bringing “old equipment back online.” If every option was explored, why was this not an option before? The Township Board agreed to give away $1 million in sewer fees, pay all maintenance costs; and to let Swansea charge higher fees for the next 25 years.
How was Swansea going to “take” the accounts? Was there any legal notice regarding this? Why is the Township Board exploring the option of renegotiating instead of exploring the option to bring the old equipment online? How did Dave Barnes and Mary Carroll “explore every option?” They haven’t and now they are trying to cover up their stinky mess.
John “Skip” Kernan, St. Clair Road District Highway Commissioner