Pennichuck article in the Nashua Telegraph

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Do you think the MVD should be sold to Pennichuck?

Poll ended at Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:40 pm

Yes
2
6%
No
29
94%
 
Total votes : 31

Postby Tom Koenig » Wed Apr 06, 2005 1:51 pm

Valerie wrote:...
Jay Minkarah , when employed by Town Government, met with the purpose of joining the Merrimack Valley Regional Water District. I have questioned why Jay would have gotten involved with a Regional Plan when the town government has no control over the MVD by statute. Some of the past officials cannot answer this question.

My concern with Steve Densberger hailing Bernie Rousseau for the BOS is that PWW will have a leg in the door. He is an executive employee of PWW. As an employee of that stature, he would most likely have to abide by the PWW Master Plan. He has stated that he will recuse himself from discussion and from votes on this Regionalization issue, however, that does not mean influence will not be imparted in private conversations.

You know those conversations? 8)
...


Slow down, take a few deep breaths and relax.

Jay Minkarah was on the Regional Water District charter committee because the BOS, on a motion by Nancy Gagnon, voted to be represented. (Actually, her motion was for Dean to represent us but that must have changed.) The concern as expressed by Jay was that we have industrial customers in town who would be affected by a Regional Water Dstrict and we, the Town of Merrimack, should at least be represented to look out for our local businesses and residences interests.

Steve Densberger is an associate of Bernie Rousseau and is testifying to his good character, plain and simple. The BOS has no authority to impact the MVD and we all know that. Even if Bernie had "motives", it would be the wrong way to go. He would want to be a water district commissioner like he was several years back. The town vote is the only thing that will change the status of the MVD, not the BOS.

What conversations? A conversation that I have with you will not change the School District budget any more than a conversation between Bernie and anybody on the BOS will change the MVD charter.
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Postby Valerie » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:48 pm

Respectfully Tom I have pulled a part of your post and wish to respond:


** The concern as expressed by Jay was that we have industrial customers in town that would be affected by a Regional Water District and we, the Town of Merrimack, should at least be represented to look out for our local businesses and residences interests. **

This sounds innocent enough, however, if the town has no authority over such matters, and knows it, why would the town get involved with the MVD business in the first place?

**The town vote is the only thing that will change the status of the MVD, not the BOS.**

Not necessarily so. What if the representatives sent by the BOS were instructed to go along with the Regional Plan? ............That was my question to the past officials. WHY DID THE TOWN send a delegate to something the town has no business to participate in.

and....its very refreshing to see you here Tom!...........I think more of the BOS membership should participate!.........

Thank you for responding to my post!
Valerie
 
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Postby Nat Fairbanks » Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:24 pm

Valerie wrote:This sounds innocent enough, however, if the town has no authority over such matters, and knows it, why would the town get involved with the MVD business in the first place?

I happened to be at the meeting where the vote to send a representative to the regional water district discussions was taken and the primary reasons I heard mentioned for our participation were the aquifer owned by Pennichuck in Merrimack and Budweiser and a small number of other Merrimack businesses and residences who were said to be direct customers of Pennichuck. Any mention of participation that I recall was in that context, not the context of having MVD join the regional district. I only recall MVD being mentioned due to someone mentioning the water selling agreement that MVD and Pennichuck currently have, and how MVD and a future regional district might continue to participate in such an agreement.

-Nat
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Postby Valerie » Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:53 pm

**I only recall MVD being mentioned due to someone mentioning the water selling agreement that MVD and Pennichuck currently have, and how MVD and a future regional district might continue to participate in such an agreement. **





Thanks Nat!..........after reading the minutes of the MVRWD it appeared to me we were about to join. Dick was supposed to meet with them sometime in Sept. Did that happen?.........what transpired since then and why was the MVD not in attendance?..Did the BOS invite the MVD as a courtesy?...........
Valerie
 
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Postby Nat Fairbanks » Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:15 pm

Valerie wrote:after reading the minutes of the MVRWD it appeared to me we were about to join. Dick was supposed to meet with them sometime in Sept. Did that happen?.........what transpired since then and why was the MVD not in attendance?..Did the BOS invite the MVD as a courtesy?...........

The vote and discussion I was talking about took place when the BOS first voted to send a representative to the initial meetings discussing the possible creation of a MVRWD. I think it was about two years ago. I have no idea what's been going on lately.

-Nat
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Postby Valerie » Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:26 pm

Hi Nat!

I have been searching minutes for some time regarding this issue and came upon an article Oct 25 2004


Merrimack hesitant to join regional water district
By DAN McLEAN
Union Leader Correspondent
Comcast

MERRIMACK — Seven towns have already agreed to join the Merrimack Valley Regional Water District if Nashua wins its eminent domain suit against Pennichuck Water Works. Merrimack selectmen, however, have concerns and have withheld their support so far.

“I have a great issue with Nashua controlling all of the decisions relative to rate setting,â€
Valerie
 
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Postby Wayne » Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:35 pm

For some reason, Nat, I remember either attending or watching the broadcast of that BOS meeting as well. I agree the the main reason for sending Jay to the charter meetings was to make sure Merrimack had a "presence" there - to assure that we would know what they were up to, and to protect our interests. Chuck Mower might also be a good source of information, as I know he had a keen interest.

Where was the MVD during all this? is a very good question. I would expect they would have been interested, and I'm sure they were well aware of it, but the near blackout of information of and about the MVD (from my admittedly apathetic perspective) might mean we'll never know.
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Postby Valerie » Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:41 pm

Thank you for the posts Nat and Wayne!

I found this a few minutes ago doing research on the issue in question.
I highlighted the section of possible interest.

Taken from an article in the Union Leader. October 24, 2004

The beginning qualifies the issue I have raised in the forum.


***MERRIMACK — Seven towns have already agreed to join the Merrimack Valley Regional Water District if Nashua wins its eminent domain suit against Pennichuck Water Works. Merrimack selectmen, however, have concerns and have withheld their support so far.***


****In general, Hinch said selectmen are “lukewarmâ€
Valerie
 
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Postby Ann Goldman » Wed Apr 06, 2005 5:20 pm

Hi Valerie,

You wrote or quoted:
[quote]Although roughly 20 percent of the 10 million gallons of water Pennichuck generates each day is used by Anheuser-Busch, on Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack, the brewery would only count as one rate-payer, Hinch said.

“We have a very, very important and very thirsty customer. And its called Anheuser-Busch. For Merrimack not to have any vote . . . is ludicrous,â€
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Postby Valerie » Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:00 pm

Is Anheuser-Busch a Pennichuck customer or an MVD customer........

They are a PWW customer.

That is why I questioned the towns involvement. The MVD is autonomous. The town has no control over the MVD.

That is why I posted that article. In light of the Dick Hinch comment we all should be a little concerned.

as follows:

****In general, Hinch said selectmen are “lukewarmâ€
Valerie
 
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Postby Michael Thompson » Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:20 pm

What are the benefits of joining a regional water district?
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Postby Michael Thompson » Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:33 pm

Michael Thompson wrote:What are the benefits of joining a regional water district?


Here is the list I found at the Merrimack Valley Water District site:

POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF A REGIONAL WATER DISTRICT Case studies of communities that have converted from investor-owned private water companies to consumer-owned regional water districts, including the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, the Bristol County (Rhode Island) Water Authority, and the Portland (Maine) Water District, indicate that public ownership of a water utility can be both financially feasible and of benefit to the public interest, as follows:
Local Control – Regional public ownership would protect the water utility from being sold to out-of-state or foreign interests. A regional water district with representation from each member community could ensure that management and capital improvements planning are responsive to local needs. All meetings and business would be open to public scrutiny. Lower Operation Costs – The cost of operating a regionally-owned public water utility could result in savings as follows: 1) A regional water district would not pay federal and state corporate income taxes; 2) Overhead would be reduced due to the absence of corporate expenses; 3) A not-for-profit entity can raise capital at a lower interest rate than a for-profit company. Protection of Watershed Lands – Through careful management of landholdings, a regional water district could advance the public interest through acquisition and conservation of open space and provision of recreational facilities. A public entity would not be under pressure to sell watershed lands in order to raise capital or increase revenues. No Impact on Property Tax Rates – A regional water district would be funded by the water ratepayers, and the water district would make payments in-lieu-of taxes to the various communities in which there are pipelines, storage tanks, treatment facilities, or watershed lands. The district would have separate bonding authority, thereby allowing the funding of capital investments in the tax-exempt bond market. Typically, publicly owned water systems that issue revenue bonds enjoy high quality credit ratings, since the historical risk of default is very small. It would not be necessary to pledge either the state’s credit or the credit of the cities and towns to support the credit quality of revenue bonds.
Last edited by Michael Thompson on Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Valerie » Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:37 pm

Some see it as a benefit............. here are some links...........as others do not.

http://www.ci.merrimack.nh.us/Boards/BO ... 040930.htm

scroll down to the Regional Water District discussion. It is the only minutes I can find on the local level.

and today I located an article in the Union Leader.

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index ... topic=6647

After reading them let me know what you think?
Thank you!
Valerie
 
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Postby Wayne » Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:47 pm

FYI: This seems to be the home site of the MVRWD:

http://www.nashuarpc.org/water/
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Postby Valerie » Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:49 pm

Michael,

The Merrimack Village District who serves Industrial, Commercial and residential residents is a PUBLICLY OWNED ENTITY. They purvey water for consumption and fire protection. The MVD is one of the most pristine groundwaters in the state. For now, we have one of the lowest rate structures in the state. We the voters control the MVD. There is a Board of Commissioners who answers to the public. This government is autonomous from the Town or School Government.

The Regional Water District that is in process to be formed by member communities is in the discussions stages. If you read the minutes from the BOS there are sincere and serious concerns.

Planning Board Chairman Nelson Disco stated that this water company services mainly Merrimack’s industrial section and as such we will never have a lot of customers down there in number (water meter). At this time it is one water meter servicing the larger companies and this concerns him because it reduces the amount of votes Merrimack will have. Even if we use 2 million gallons of water per day we will still only have one vote.

Mr. Scanlon stated that is correct

PWW services those connections. They set the rates .
Valerie
 
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