Published August 27. 2016 09:01AM
Recently, residents of Eldred Township banded together and fought off the efforts of Nestle to extract many thousands of gallons of water from their local aquifer, and I commend them for doing so. Nestle's plan was to use the water for their bottled water business. I am not aware if there was to be compensation of any kind to Eldred Township.
My question is why has the Bethlehem Water Authority been allowed to get away with selling our natural resources (water) for many, many, years with no compensation to the counties involved, including Carbon County. That's correct. No compensation or taxes paid to Carbon County. Believe me, they pump out a lot more gallonage than Nestle was proposing, and nobody says a word.Now they plan on reaping an even bigger harvest with the proposed wind turbine farm. They play the roll of innocent bystander but will receive a minimum of $100,000 per year from the wind turbine company. What a fantastic deal! They reap a windfall, no pun intended, on land they don't own or pay taxes on. We, the residents of Carbon County, are the real owners and taxpayers. Why should the Bethlehem Water Authority have tax exempt status? They sell the water to Bethlehem residents and other municipalities for "profit." It's time for Carbon to claim its share by insisting that this tax exempt status be revoked.I call on the Carbon County Commissioners to get this ball rolling. I would then like to see Doyle Heffley and all our state and federal representatives, such as Lou Barletta, and Sens. Toomey and Casey get involved. It's time you all earn your pay. Carbon County has plenty of needs and it's time to make the "squatter" - Bethlehem Water Authority - pay for some of them. I am a Carbon County resident, and as far as I'm concerned, Bethlehem residents can drink Kool-Aid.John FergusonTowamensing Township