Edison, NJ – On Thursday, Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey weighed in on the Edison Council’s rejection of a proposed ordinance that would have placed Edison's essential water and sewer systems under public control.

“Petition drive organizers worked very hard to collect signature from 4,985 residents who apparently support a voter referendum. The Township Council has given the petitioners exactly what they want: A chance for all registered voters to weigh-in on an important decision that will have a significant financial impact on Town Hall, on taxpayers and ratepayers,” Mr. Lankey said.

The mayor stated that he is not taking a position on the ordinance

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Under the proposed ordinance, upon the expiration of its existing contract with Edison Water Company, the Township’s Division of Water Supply would retain ownership and commence the operation, management, control, and maintenance of the Township’s municipal water system.

The proposed ordinance also prohibits the Township from leasing or selling its water system Township’s Sewer Utility or contracting with private firms for the operation and management of the water and sewer systems.

The ordinance, which was  a result of a group of local residents and community activists who delivered  4,958 signatures as part of a petition, was narrowly rejected by the Council on Wednesday, by a 4-3 vote.

Since the Council did not pass the proposed ordinance on Wednesday night, the question will now be placed on the ballot, in a special election slated for September 10, for the voters to decide.

Township officials estimate that Sept. 10th’s special election could cost at least $100,000 to hire poll workers, provide voting machines from Middlesex County, and make polling places available in Edison’s 78 election districts.