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New Garden's Rate Mitigation

(A Side Step Shuffle)

Walking piers into the sea 29-Dec-2023 pexels.jpg

Before the sewer sale, New Garden touted rate mitigation as insurance for meeting the contractual rate guarantees.  Here is the set of Frequently Asked Questions published by New Garden:   

During 2022 New Garden Township officials were pressed repeatedly about using sewer sale funds for the promised rate mitigation.  This became more urgent in the summer when the first bills were received with jaw dropping rate increases. 


The New Garden Board Of Supervisors (BOS) always remained noncommittal when confronted with this issue. 

Since we felt we were getting the runaround, we made this one of the major “Issues” we wanted to have a dialog on.  It was item #6 on the list we sent to the New Garden Board:  "NGT promised to create a “rate stabilization” fund to help offset increased rates under Aqua.  Does the Township intend to fulfill this promise?"

New Garden’s Response

New Garden did, indeed, address it as a “Question” at the November meeting: 


#1 - In the meeting video (LINK) it begins at 1:06:40 and goes for about a minute and a half. 

#2 - In their prepared presentation, it is chart #10 in the following chart package.

You have to magnify that chart #10 considerably to be able to read it.  But here is the essence:


#1 - The Header of the chart is:  “KWA Question 5:  NGT promised to create a “rate stabilization” fund to help offset increased rates under Aqua. Does the Township intend to fulfill this promise?”

#2 - They then reproduced a section of the July 19, 2016 Frequently Asked Questions.  Specifically the question:  “What will the Township do with the proceeds from the sale?” 

#3 - From the list of things in the FAQ, they highlighted the FIFTH item:  “Fifth, establish a tax stabilization fund to offset future real estate tax increases” 


#4 - They then emphasized that the promise was not for a “RATE stabilization fund”, rather for a “TAX stabilization fund” 


#5 - Basically, we think they implied that the Keep Water Affordable dummies had gotten it all wrong. 

But ... But ... But

New Garden Over Looked Something

The Switcheroo

On New Garden’s own chart #10, instead of the fifth item, check out the SECOND item.  New Garden's highlighting and tiny type made it totally obscure to the audience at the time, but it states: “Second, reserve funds to satisfy pre-existing obligations of the systems and to financially secure the contractually capped rates.” 


The statement: “…to financially secure the contractually capped rates.”  is much more relevant to our “Issue”.  Given the number of times the issue had been brought up at public Board meetings, there is no way the Board could have been confused about the wording.   But, they side stepped the issue with the innuendo that we got it all wrong and did not know what we were talking about.


Why the switcheroo?  We do not know.  But it certainly appears to us as a pattern of avoiding any potentially controversial issues regarding the sewer sale.  The more of this stuff we see, the more we think there are major issues being covered up. 


On December 19, 2022, just about a month later, the New Garden Board of Supervisors took the following action on BUSINESS item #1:


"Sewer Rate Mitigation/Stabilization – consideration of sewer rate mitigation/stabilization.

Action:  A vote was taken by the BOS to decide if they will continue to pursue/investigate the possibility of sewer rate mitigation/stabilization.  A statement was read by Mr. Allaband.  The result of the vote was 3 Nays and 2 Ayes." 


They Killed Rate Mitigation.

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