As Warwick Watch has already published, the Governor Francis Phase 3 Sewer Project has been on the drawing board for 9 yrs..
During July's meeting at the Pilgrim Senior Center, Warwick Sewer Authority Director Janine Burke said Gov. Francis Phase 1 and 2 homeowners were under-assessed on their sewer assessments. This is not true. Gov Francis Phase 1 project was under-assessed by $1.5 million, but Gov Francis Phase 2 was over-assessed by hundreds of thousands. Nine out of the eleven projects prior to Gov Francis Phase 2 were under-assessed by $10 million. Total mismanagement by the WSA.
Burke, although just taking over the WSA, knew full well that Gov. Francis Phase 1 should have been assessed at $82 a foot --and not $52 a foot-- which would have eliminated the under-assessment on this project... but politics got in the way. Keep in mind, Mayor Avedisian's buddy, former councilman Colantuono represented Ward 1 on the City Council for years, and many of his most ardent supporters lived in the Phase 1 sewer connection project area. Is this why Phase 1 residents weren't re-assessed?
Residents in Gov Francis Phase 3 can find some solace in the fact that they can appeal their sewer assessments. Maybe they will be lucky-- like WSA Board Member Gary Jarvis ( Phase 2 Resident )-- and have their assessment almost cut in half in addition to also installing a special berm in front of their house like he did.
The WSA still hasn't answered the question regarding what they did with the $500k grant they received from DEM for the Gov. Francis Phase 2 project. This grant required residents of Gov. Francis Phase 2 to connect to the sewer line whether they wanted to or not. Never before had any Warwick sewer project have this mandate. Thanks to the efforts of Senator McCaffrey and Rep McNamara, the WSA Enabling Act was modified at the statehouse to eliminate this injustice to Phase 2 residents.
However, did the WSA return the $500k grant to DEM?
Last year (June 2016), the WSA Enabling Act was again modified at the statehouse and it permitted the WSA to base property assessments not on frontage, but on total cost of project divided by the number of homes getting sewered.
The WSA had until June 2017 to hold public hearings to discuss their new rules and regulations and receive public input...but they never did. They are not in compliance with their 2016 Enabling Act regulations. Burke says they have been too busy and forget what the WSA said at the statehouse... like usual, it's the WSA way or the highway.
There should be a change of management at the WSA and/or the Warwick Sewer Authority should be privatized.
Gov, Francis Phase 3 residents should also demand the Mayor answer why they are paying at least $10k more for their sewers !