Edison, NJ - Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey responded this afternoon to those opposing his proposed 40 year lease of Edison’s sewer and water systems to Suez North America, a Paramus-based water and wastewater company.  He also stated that the public hearing has been shifted to Middlesex County College, Center for Performing Arts, 2600 Woodbridge Avenue. The public meeting is scheduled for March 28 at 6:00 p.m., after it was initially slated to occur at town hall. 

“The meeting last night was a one-sided discussion by out-of-town special interest groups that do not have Edison’s best interests at heart. While we welcome the public’s feedback and input, these out-of-town special interest groups have not put any viable alternative solution forward,” Mr. Lankey said in a statement sent to TAPinto Edison.

Mr. Lankey was referring to a meeting hosted by Food and Water Watch, an advocacy group on healthy food and clean water issues. 

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"Edison’s new deal to privatize its water and sewer system might sound too good to be true—because it is,” said Junior Romero, a New Jersey Organizer for Food & Water Watch during a public meeting held last night.  “The $811 million plan promises the township money up front in exchange for local control of a precious resource. But this is not free money. It’s an exorbitant loan that residents and businesses will be on the hook to repay for the next 40 years,” he said.

Mr. Lankey disagreed with those senitments.  “The agreement we negotiated, which must be approved by the Township Council and state regulators, protects Edison residents, provides critical infrastructure investments, stabilizes rates in the long term, maintains the senior rate freeze program, and allows for Edison to maintain ownership of the systems. In addition, protections are being put in place within the contract to ensure Edison receives the benefits that have been negotiated,” Mr. Lankey explained.

“I look forward to the public discussion of this important issue once the agreement details are finalized. Edison residents will receive all the information necessary to form an opinion. The public outreach process will begin with a public hearing at 6 p.m. on March 28th at Middlesex County College. This is where residents will get the most accurate details about the proposal,” Mr Lankey said.