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39 percent water-rate hike on tap in Harrison

Thursday, March 23, 2006

By ROSE DUGER

JOURNAL CORRESPONDENT

HARRISON - Residents and businesses may end up paying more than a third extra money for their water, thanks to an ordinance recently introduced by the governing body that proposes a water-rate hike.

The ordinance, which will have a public hearing next month, proposes a 39 percent increase in water rates - rising from $19 per 1,000 cubic feet of water to $26.50 - along with a 13 percent hike in sewer rates.

Local officials pointed to correlating rate increases the Passaic Valley Water Commission and Passaic Valley Sewer Commission recently passed on to the town as the main reason for the increases.

"We're not making any money on this," said Mayor Raymond J. McDonough. :rolleyes::P<_< "We're just passing on increases we can't absorb."

Over the past 14 months the Passaic Valley Water Commission phased in a three-part rate increase in Harrison, according to Paul Zarbetski, who serves as Harrison's town clerk and municipal attorney.

The rates the Passaic Valley Water Commission charges Harrison rose 4 percent in January 2005, 10 percent in August and 22 percent two months ago.

The town didn't pass on the first two increases to customers, Zarbetski said.

Two years ago, Harrison officials approved water and sewer rate raises of 12 percent and 9 percent, respectively, in a two-part rate hike for 2005 and 2006. Officials at the time also chalked up the increases to higher costs charged by the Passaic Valley Water and Sewerage commissions.

The second part of that rate hike only went into effect in January, bringing water rates to $19 per 1,000 cubic feet of water and the wastewater charge to $26.50 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The rates proposed in the ordinance introduced two weeks ago call for the water rate to rise to $26.50 per 1,000 cubic feet and the wastewater charge to be set at $30 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The ordinance also calls for increases in fees for services including unmetered water, fire services, final meter reads and the installation of new water meters.

Attend the Town meeting at 6:45, not to be late, 2nd floor. VOICE YOUR OPINION!!

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Well guess its only fitting to raise the water tax..this way all the new people from Harrison that were hired at Passaic Valley can get a pay check. RIDICULOUS!!!! From what I hear there are 4 members of one councilman's family now working there, shame on you Mayor, Tom Powell and all you other polititions for thinking the people of Harrison aren't smart enough to figure out what is really going on up in that 3rd floor office.

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Guest Guest
Well guess its only fitting to raise the water tax..this way all the new people from Harrison that were hired at Passaic Valley can get a pay check.  RIDICULOUS!!!!  From what I hear there are 4 members of one councilman's family now working there, shame on you Mayor, Tom Powell and all you other polititions for thinking the people of Harrison aren't smart enough to figure out what is really going on up in that 3rd floor office.

I think that the PAC founder has family members working there too. ;)

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Guest Guest
Well guess its only fitting to raise the water tax..this way all the new people from Harrison that were hired at Passaic Valley can get a pay check.  RIDICULOUS!!!!  From what I hear there are 4 members of one councilman's family now working there, shame on you Mayor, Tom Powell and all you other polititions for thinking the people of Harrison aren't smart enough to figure out what is really going on up in that 3rd floor office.

How about PSE&G my gas and electric bill went up too. When were done with the town meeting we should all march over there too. I heard they were hiring new people, how dare. ;)

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Guest Lets Have Our KOTW Meeting
THE MEETING FOR TUESDAY APRIL 4TH AT THE TOWN HALL 2ND FLOOR HAS BEEN POSTPONED

The meeting was not postponed. The meeting was moved back to avoid public outcry. I say we all meet Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. outside the Harrison Town Hall and protest the fact that the meeting was cancelled. What reason was given for the cancellation? It is obvious the Mayor is running scared of the public. He must be logging in and getting reports of dissatisfaction from residents and business owners. I will be standing outside the Town Hall on April 4th at 7:00 p.m. bring your cup of coffee and home made sign saying "LET THE PUBLIC SPEAK" We can call it the "KOTW PUBLIC MEETING". At least KOTW let's us voice our opinions.

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Guest Angry Taxpayer
The meeting was not postponed.  The meeting was moved back to avoid public outcry.  I say we all meet Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. outside the Harrison Town Hall and protest the fact that the meeting was cancelled.  What reason was given for the cancellation?  It is obvious the Mayor is running scared of the public.  He must be logging in and getting reports of dissatisfaction from residents and business owners.  I will be standing outside the Town Hall on April 4th at 7:00 p.m. bring your cup of coffee and home made sign saying "LET THE PUBLIC SPEAK" We can call it the "KOTW PUBLIC MEETING".  At least KOTW let's us voice our opinions.

I think you're absolutely right. The mayor and council is starting to feel the heat of all the taxpayers who are fed up wiith this free-spending, crony-hiring, don't give a sh-t attitude. They are AFRAID of residents standing up at a council meeting and demanding a public session where questions can be asked that they can't answer. This is the time to stick together. If they think moving back a meeting starting time is going to discourage us, they're sadly mistaken.

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Quote-

"Democracies die behind closed doors. A government operating in the shodow of secrecy stands in complete opposition to the society envisioned by the framers of the Constitution".

As stated by, Judge Damon Keith, of the 6th United States Circuit Court of Appeals, 2002.

Government of the Town of Harrison, explain yourselves and your actions? We the people of Harrison have a right to know what is happening in our town.

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