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Was The New Garden Sewer Sale Process Legitimate?

Scale Picture from Pexels 8-Jan-2024.jpg

During 2022 New Garden Township officials were asked repeatedly about sewer sale issues.  This became a very high profile issue when the first bills were received with jaw dropping rate increases.  As a result New Garden announced that it was hiring a law firm unaffiliated with the sale process to review key aspects of the sale such as the dropping of the rate cap.  New Garden announced that the result of this review would be made public at the November 21, 2022 public meeting. 

What New Garden Claimed It Did

Here is the chart deck that the New Garden Board of Supervisors used at the meeting:

Chart 13 has four bullet points of what New Garden did to support ratepayers.  Point #2 was: "Hired independent counsel to investigate the transactions pertaining to the sewer sale (Offit Kurman)."


The meeting presentations were recorded on video here: (LINK)  At 1:09:06 on the video the New Garden Supervisor essentially reads that point. 

The Attorney's Report

AKA: The



The report by the lawyer starts at 1:14:00 of the video and continues for less than two minutes.  Here is our paraphrase of the start of that report:  We were asked to review the purchase agreement, as amended, to determine whether Aqua could legally raise New Garden rates.


??? !!! WHAT !!! ???


That bears no resemblance at all to what we were told was being done. It does not take a lawyer to answer that question.  Of course Aqua could raise rates.  That protection has been stripped out of the contract.  Aqua could do whatever the PUC would let them do.  And, that is basically what the lawyer said. 


It was our observation that the lawyer was almost apologetic or embarrassed for having to answer such a obvious question.  We suspect he knew something was going on and he was just a pawn being sacrificed in a chess match. 


Why the Big Switcheroo?  This is another mystery that we are unlikely to get answers to.  But, we think New Garden is likely to tout this as another action they took to be responsive to resident’s concerns.  They also succeeded in bringing nothing to light about any issue with the sale process. 

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