Town council to make decision on sewage plan

By on April 6, 2005

The Hamden Town Council met at the Miller Library to discuss its involvement in a regionalization of sewage control. Among the towns involved, which include Woodbridge, East Haven, Hamden, and New Haven, Hamden is the only town unsure about the benefits this change offers.

This move to regionalization would be connected to the formation of the Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority. This organization would control all the sewage flow for the participating towns.

New Haven has always dealt with all of the towns’ waste. Physically the structure would remain essentially the same for dealing with the waste. Instead of New Haven dealing separately with each town on a contract basis, all the towns would form into one entity.

On March 30, the Hamden Town Council carefully weighed the pros and cons of this project. Aside from the presentation by the Cambridge Consultant Firm and CDM, several town council members appeared to dislike the plan.

Among the aspects that do not leave a stink are current and future financial benefits to the town as well as the elimination of financial and environmental liabilities concerning this municipal service.

The scheme will remove all current and future waste debts for which Hamden is now responsible. Although Hamden will have to acquire new debts related to the regionalization, supporters claim the cost reductions in other areas outweigh the new balance.

This would be especially significant to Quinnipiac because Quinnipiac students make up a large population in Hamden and, therefore, contribute immensely to the town’s flow of sewage.

One main concern that the council expressed about the deal was the situation for current town employees working in the area.

If Hamden decides to go along with the new plan, all workers would be under the city of New Haven. This would translate directly to the loss of pensions for all employees, especially devastating to some of the older workers who have built up their pensions over time.

In response to this, Hamden would offer the right to move into a different town job to avoid lost pensions. However, this remains a problem because forcing people to switch careers does not boost employee morale nor does it convince citizens that the new plan would be an overall gain.

The council will meet again on April 26 for further deliberation, and is scheduled to make a decision on the matter by May 13. Anyone interested in more details should contact members of the council and individuals involved through the contacts on the Hamden town website, http://www.hamden .com.


About Brendan Lewis