A big debate around Bayonne is whether the deal with United Water was beneficial or hurtful to the people of this city. First, I will look at some figures from the deal, and after looking at the figures, you will clearly see what I see. In July of 2012, the BMUA reached an agreement with United Water for a deal of $150 million over a period of 40 years. In August of 2012, the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority ( BMUA) unanimously voted to approve the deal. Upon the approval of the deal, Bayonne residents were hit with an 8.5 percent increase on their water bills, raising the average price of the bill from $243 to $264. For the following four years after the approval of the deal, which is until 2016, the rates would stay flat, but for the remaining 36 years of the deal, we will see a 4 percent annual increase. That is a scary thought because that means that at the end of this deal the average price of the water bill could be around or even over $1,000. Does that sound like a reasonable average for a water bill to you?
In looking at the deal, it is my strong belief that this deal was not made for the people of Bayonne, but rather for the people who were in charge of the BMUA and its employees. Let’s take a look at a few more numbers. Again, the total amount of the deal was $150 million. The first two years of the deal called for a total of $14.5 million to be spent on capital improvements for our water system; for that part of the deal I will give a round of applause. It is a well-known fact that the BMUA was in a high amount of debt so a good amount of the remaining $135.5 million was used to eliminate this debt and any other outstanding fees, which the BMUA had. I wonder how the rest of that money was spent, or where it has gone. Another note that leads me to think that this deal was not made in the best interests of Bayonne’s residents is the fact that the deal called for United Water to continue to employ the 27 employees of the BMUA, including the ones who had run the BMUA into the ground in the first place. Several of these employees eventually went on to get good municipal jobs. I have had enough of the selfish politics of this city.