Much to consider with big utility change
The Day reported that the legislature may form a task force to consider a municipal takeover of electric service currently provided by investor-owned Eversource, "Giving Eversource a run for its money?", (March 15). Over 40 years ago the investor-owned New Haven Water Company was acquired through enabling legislation that created the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority.
All of the 15 service and land towns formed the authority servicing over 90,000 customers and purchased the entire holdings from New Haven Water through a multimillion-dollar revenue bond issue. The task force should keep the structure of that acquisition in mind for the parallel challenges inherent in taking over a large electric utility thatalso owns the largest private water utility in Connecticut − Aquarion Water.
Voting rights of each town would have to be determined for future rate increases and capital improvements. A separate consumer counsel to represent the ratepayers should be considered since government utilities are not under the purview of the state regulatory agency. Importantly, there should be a separate governing board created to prevent politicization of operations. Also, a system of payment in lieu of taxes implemented to keep the towns financially whole for taxes lost.
The writer was the chief operating officer of the South Central Regional Water Authority and served as chairman and CEO of the Connecticut Water Company prior to his retirement in 2007