Bye Welcomes Committee Passage of Bill Requiring Independent Consumer Advocate For MDC
HB -6008 received a favorable vote from the Planning and Development Committee in the state legislature and will hopefully move on to consideration in the House of Representatives later this session. See: www.senatedems.ct.gov/bye-news/473-bye-170324#sthash.kaaH8WOR.vdIQkaC0.dpbs
The Metropolitan District Commission, which provides drinking water to 8 Hartford area municipalities, came under intense fire this past year. First, with its decision to offer water and clean water project charge discounts to multi-national California water bottler Niagara. Secondly, with its last minute demand for contingency funds from municipalities to avoid a damaged bond rating should the city of Hartford default on its ad valorem sewer payments.
The 29 member MDC board, comprised of both legislative appointees and commissioners appointed by its member towns, was criticized for its lack of communication with member town councils, and its lack of transparency with the public.
The consumer advocate, funded with $50,000/yr by the MDC, would be an attorney with experience in utility law and public advocacy. The position would provide a set of "eyes and ears" to the public on maters of consequence to the general public, both in member towns and in non-voting towns served by the MDC.
Sen. Beth Bye, Rep. Derek Slap, and Rep. David Baram all worked to forward the legislation out of committee. Save Our Water CT considers this a good first step in restoring public trust to the agency.
Save Our Water CT
Citizen advocates acting to protect and conserve Connecticut's public trust waters.