It is true that Greenburgh Water buys its water from New York City. Having bought from NYC at a bulk rate, Greenburgh then marks it up for resale to users at varying higher margins depending on the amount of water each category consumes. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” as Seinfeld would say.
And Victor Carosi [“Town board postpones vote on water rate increase,” July 12] is willing to admit that the cost of NYC water is a considerable part of the cost of doing business for Greenburgh. It is also true that Greenburgh Water costs less than private sector Suez/United, which, unlike the town, is dedicated to turning a profit for its investors but even that reality is treated as so much water under the bridge. But “that’s not all, folks,” as a famous cartoon rabbit would say.
What seems to escape everyone’s notice is that NYC, like Greenburgh, also has infrastructure costs yet these are already reflected in the lower price paid to it by Greenburgh. And while Greenburgh’s water lines entail considerably fewer miles than NYC (not only within the city’s five borders but north to south from upstate sources), and NYC’s infrastructure requirements cover hundreds, if not thousands, of miles over and under more terrain than our little town, NYC’s pipes, pumps and valves are no less susceptible to repair or replacement than those belonging to Greenburgh.
So why all the hullabaloo over rising rates, which to most customers amount to a few dollars more a month although the rising rates appear fearsome when quoted as percentage increases? Because the real story is not that infrastructure has finally gotten its day in court but that it has taken so long to get there. In other words, decades of neglect have hastened the climax requiring immediate attention and thus higher rates to pay for it. And to mask itself as the real culprit, the Greenburgh Town Board has established a cut-out to shield themselves from blame. Ergo, a water board composed of citizens whose first appearance was born of the need to do something, anything, to forestall a complete collapse — although one completely different from Flint, Michigan, where the buck was also passed.
Here in merry Greenburgh, the many problems can now be discussed openly but the remediation cost is one riding the shoulders of the water board, not the town board. Get it?
So if you’re still singing “Cry Me a River,” be smart and use a bucket or thirsty boots to capture those tears.
N. Washington Avenue