Seems rather rushed, no? Where was the RFP advertised? Was it advertised? Or was this an "invitation only" deal?
What is really interesting is how these firms were picked.
"Four proposals were received and reviewed by a committee of county officials and representatives of three municipalities impacted by the situation."I wonder which municipalities those might be? I wonder which county officials those might be? Were they the ones that permitted the sewer overflow situation to develop? Were any of the firms involved with projects or reviews or plans that may have contributed to the overflow situation?
Is the wolf being allowed to guard the hen house? No one rubber stamping this seems to have been interested enough to ask.
And they don't even know what it will cost! But why should they be concerned about cost? They are not paying for it.
""Any fix is going to be a district cost," said County Attorney Linda M.H. Dillon ....""A district cost" -- again the Dirty Little Secret. Most of the people that live in the Part County Sewer District live in Utica.
While Mr. D'Onofrio may feel it is premature to know who will wind up paying the cost, WE know that unless the Board of Legislators takes some action to allocate the costs differently, Ms. Dillon's assessment is correct - the "district" will pay -- i.e., primarily Uticans. We also have known for over a year that the cost of the study alone has been estimated at $3-5 Million. So if primarily Uticans are going to be paying for this study, why were they not permitted to participate in the solicitation and review of proposals?
Why were Legislators Wood (Westmoreland) and Porter (Boonville) the ones who introduced the legislation authorizing the hiring of consultants? Their districts have no relationship to the Part County Sewer District. Legislator Miller (New Hartford), who seconded the legislation, is from a district where the problem may have been created.
The suburbs wheel and deal. They dream and scheme. Their political friends in more distant parts of the county cooperate. The County cheer leads and participates. They create problems, control the solutions, and cover their tracks. But they can't afford to do it on their own. They will send the bill to the people of Utica . . .
There are two conclusions that can be drawn from this story:
1) County Government is not up to the task of handling this issue without oversight.
2) Greater Utica's municipalities, since they are creating problems for each other, are too closely linked to remain separated.
The solution to the sewer problem, and probably many others, seems to be to (1) create a municipality of Greater Utica to replace the fiefdoms we have now and (2) transfer the responsibility for sewers and other services that the County now performs only for Greater Utica to Greater Utica.