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BCWA Poppasquash Debacle: One More Nail In The Coffin?

Further on Poppasquash fire hydrants being removed and other BCWA issues of importance


For more than three years now, some of us have tried to warn the citizens of Bristol, Warren and Barrington that there were serious problems at the Bristol County Water Authority. Bristol Town Council Chairman Ken Marshall not only refused to give any credibility to our cautionary calls, but even went so far as to state at the Forum held 2-1/2 years ago that it reminded him of the "Spanish Inquisition!" 

Anyone who dared to come forward at town meetings with a question was vilified and labeled a "troublemaker." All three Town Councils repeatedly reappointed directors that were at the root of the problem.
 
The fact that there is no water for the residents of Poppasquash is indeed a travesty. And it is only the tip of the iceberg. The Anawan Club is suing the BCWA; the state of Massachusetts is suing the BCWA; the Franklin Court issue has still not been rectified; the low-pressure area still has not been addressed; the infrastructure is crumbling before our eyes; there is no money to complete the East Providence interconnect (yes, the one that we were told was completed 2-1/2 years ago); and that is just the beginning.

It was good to see several residents from Poppasquash come forward to speak at the recent Bristol Town Council meeting to voice their concerns regarding the Bristol County Water Authority's recent removal of the fire hydrants in the area.  Many were left scrambling for new insurance policies, and were notably discontented with the action and subsequent explanation.

To say that the pipes were placed there 100 years ago is hardly an explanation as to why they have not been maintained. There was testimony given that a builder had been given the authority to come off of these existing pipes to service a new development in the 80s. How does this happen?

Here is the link to the town meeting and the discussion starts at 1 hour 43 minutes into the tape. www.bristolri.us/videos/brtc08-29-12.wmv.

There is a workshop planned to discuss BCWA issues and I hope that as many ratepayers as possible plan to attend and ask questions. The date and time is to be announced. I will post it as soon as it is available.

Many changes are being implemented at the BCWA due to the new directors that were appointed, and we applaud these actions. However, they cannot perform miracles overnight! In order to really grasp the scope of the situation at hand, ratepayers MUST insist on a complete forensic audit of the Bristol County Water Authority Act funds starting in 1993. This is the only way they/we can begin to understand the depth of this problem. Not only do they deserve answers, they deserve to know just how far-reaching the problems are and what will be "turned off" next.

Fortunately, this is an election year. You will have the opportunity to vote out many of the elected officials who have refused to act in your best interests, but have chosen to support the "old boy network" instead.

Is it time to turn to the PUC?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ray Andrews September 09, 2012 at 06:32 PM
If people are paying the same tax rates, they should expect the same services.
Pete Hewett September 09, 2012 at 06:42 PM
failure to use your real name when uttering such venom reflects more than a lack of self confidence. It is indicative of a lack of character and courage. This bristolri02809 gives sincere, concerned and patriotic citizens of a liberal persuasion a very bad name. I would say shame on him/her, but such cowards have no shame. As for the fire hydrant matter, I have one obeservation in addition to the concerns already expressed both on this blog and at the recent Bristol Town Council meeting. If I am not mistaken I thought I heard one of the town councillors state that the town is billed for each every fire hydrant we have. I am not clear whether the cost is a one time installation fee or whether we are charged annually by the BCWA for each hydrant in place. If these hydrants were installed back in the 80's and more since and none of them are effective and their ineffectiveness was known at the time they were installe, then does the town no have a legitimate claim against the BCWA for monies had and received? Is there a basis for the town making a civil claim or perhaps even a criminal claim depending on who knew, what and when and yet proceeded to put hydrants in place and perpetuate what some might suspect is fraudulent. Insurers of homeowners on Poppasquash and the homeowners themselves could have somthing to say about being so significantly duped. Pete Hewett
Gary Morse September 09, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Ray, What I want BCWA to do is promote one policy for all rate payers on these infrastructure projects. Further, if Bristol town officials demand curb to curb paving (a very expensive luxury), but the other towns do not, some adjustment might be in order to help out the BCWA budget here. This is one of those unintended consequences of what appeared to be a good idea years ago. I am trying to help out an elderly lady on fixed income in Barrington get her hookup, but she cannot afford the street improvement charge BCWA wants from her. This is a charge over and above the cost to get the connection into the house. One policy needs to be enforced for all three towns.
Gary Morse September 09, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Pete, You make excellent points. P Delise did nothing about the statutorily mandated plans, and the old board allowed this to go on. Worse yet was that BCWA's attorney did nothing to inform the board of their fiduciary duty to abide by the RI General Laws in this matter. It was her duty as an officer of the court to ensure the RI General Laws were being followed by the Board. So now she refinances some BCWA bonds, and all is to be forgiven.
JACK September 09, 2012 at 11:10 PM
hey TEABAGGERS poppasquashers want to be private

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