To the editor:
No one uncertainties that Housatonic Drinking water Operates needs it could offer Housatonic inhabitants with the thoroughly clean drinking water they deserve. The impediment – the cause for all the sediment – is that HWW does not have the $31 million a new report established is essential to overhaul its process. HWW finds itself amongst a lot of rocks and a tricky area – the DPU will not permit a fee boost on HWW’s 850 shoppers substantial adequate to pay back for repairs, nonetheless the lending markets will not lend without the need of burdensome level raises. At this level, HWW needs to choose a page out of Flint, Michigan’s and PG&E’s bankruptcy playbooks to deal with through the bankruptcy court docket what it cannot do outside of it.
Flint, offering drinking water, and PG&E, providing electrical energy and gas, each filed for personal bankruptcy reorganization when the costs to fix their utility techniques vastly exceeded their rate-primarily based capability to fork out. Mainly because a bankruptcy court docket purchase supersedes a DPU price get, a personal bankruptcy court judge can empower a trustee to information and borrow HWW out of this mess. An bancrupt HWW can not borrow the funds desired to take care of the program, but a trustee can borrow extensive term (at current small rates) to resolve the problems now.
HWW’s liabilities exceed its belongings by about $25.2 million. That checks the 1st individual bankruptcy box. If HWW will not voluntarily go after individual bankruptcy, Wonderful Barrington and other HWW creditors can alongside one another induce HWW to involuntarily file for individual bankruptcy. That is the 2nd box. The previous box is willingness to progress in bankruptcy court docket. The Selectboard and Housatonic citizens possibly need to influence HWW to file for individual bankruptcy, or HWW’s collectors alongside one another with the Selectboard and Housatonic citizens will need to make the final decision for it. The problem is no longer no matter if HWW is bankrupt. It is merely a query of when HWW, or Wonderful Barrington, acknowledges the reality and makes use of it to Housatonic residents’ advantage.
Peter J. Most
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