To the Editor:
The Bayonne MUA completed a deal with United Water and KKR Investment Banker. Let’s take a closer look! Steve Gallo says this commission inherited this debt of $135,000,000 six years ago. Six years later, it’s still $135,000,000. It’s now safe to say that this commission has done nothing.
To reduce the debt, United Water and KKR Investments paid the MUA $150,000,000. Essentially, they increased the debt by $15,000,000. Six years and $15 million in additional debt, and United Water inherited a $150 million debt.
The deal is that the City of Bayonne is receiving $150 million. What are they going to do with the additional $15 million? Are they going to return it to the rate payers? I doubt it! That’s a $135 million debt that turned into a $150 million debt bought by United Water and KKR Investments. It will be paid by you via higher water and sewer bills for the next 40 years.
Steve Gallo issued a threat to the citizens of Bayonne that if this deal was not made, the city faced a 26 percent water and sewer increase. How dare he even think of installing a 26 percent raise? Was the plan to threaten a 26 percent raise and then appease us with a 8 ½ percent raise? He isn’t fooling anyone with these tactics. His reasoning is that this deal has now wiped the debt off the MUA’s books, which in turn improves their bond rating. Improve the bond rating for what? To borrow more money to be mismanaged? To accumulate more debt for the city to pay back through higher rates?
Also, no jobs or positions were lost here. The MUA employees will be transferring to United Water. KKR Investments and UW have employees on their staff as well who will work the Bayonne account. And let’s not forget these same commissioners who will now be watching out for our interests in dealings with United Water and KKR, still on the payroll.
So the question is, with the increased debt and increase in the number of employees, how will this deal save money? It won’t, it can’t, and as soon as United Water runs into any financial difficulty with the City of Bayonne’s account, you can bet we will see increases sooner rather than later. These companies are in the business of making money and rightfully so, but at whose expense?
Here’s another sample of how these people steal from citizens. How many gallons do you use watering your garden, filling your pool, etc.? 10,000 to 15,000 gallons per year? That water isn’t going into your sewer system but you’re being charged as if it does. Big businesses pay sewer charges for water that does not go into their sewer systems. They use large amounts of water to make many water-based products, which are shipped throughout the country. Why are we being charged for this non-use?
Keep watch on your city officials. Keep them accountable for their actions affecting those they have been appointed to serve.