To the Editor:
Patton Brook Well is again in the news! The water department’s two-week test shows that the well provided a million gallons of water a day.
The test result is compatible with state records of the city’s registered water diversion of 1.2 million gallons a day.
That result is comparable to its reported use profiled in the town of Southington’s annual reports, 1980-2014.
They show that it provided as much as, 361,739,000 gallons a year (1988), 355,468,000 (1990), and 339,657,000 (1991).
The report expressed concern that upgrade/repair of the well would cost a million dollars.
The well was not included in the department’s grant application to the state for infrastructure upgrade/repair that resulted in an award of $1.2 million in low cost loans in May, 2016, two months before the vote to sell.
A city official commented that sale of the Patton Brook Well involved a 0.61-acre parcel worth $61,000.
Council members favoring the sale claimed the well was “excess water.” The claim was made when residents remained unadvised of the impending drought.
The resulting shortage prompted the city to buy water from the Metropolitan Water District for $436,000 (near half the cost of upgrade/repair).
The two-week test suggests the amount of water pumped would potentially generate $52,000 or $104,000 a month. The dollar amount is based on the 2013 residential water rate ($2.78 per hundred cubic feet) as a thumbnail measure of value.
It is worthy of mention because in the past the city applied for state permits to sell excess water.
Use of earnings from water bills to upgrade/repair Patton Brook Well is a prudent investment since rationale for a quarry reservoir is a proposed need for future supply.
Research into the availability of federal and state funding for infrastructure upgrade/repair shows that the government may again provide money to address the expressed concern. Test results confirm the need for an independent appraisal of value of a city asset before sale.
Assessment of a water department asset, i.e., Patton Brook Well, must delineate the annual value of its water as a commodity and its value as a renewable resource.