With this Act 47 on the horizon for the city of Altoona, I'd just like to reiterate the critical concern I have for our water supply.
Not just here in Altoona but surrounding communities as well the ones that benefit from our extraordinary abundance of fresh water.
Our watershed system encompasses approximately 66 square miles covering portions of 11 municipalities in four counties. That's just about three billion gallons of water, according the Altoona Authority website.
In today's world, this natural resource we share is priceless - regardless of the incompetence of city officials to balance the checkbook, regardless of the claim that a "projected" $1.5 million to 2 million deficit would "force" the city to adopt a budget calling for layoffs, "endangering public safety."
Strong words. Regardless of public officials screaming they need more money, don't even think of selling off our water. If tough decisions need to be made to balance the budget, they need to be made - but not our water.
To me, the fact that city officials would even consider selling our water supply to anyone else would be tantamount to treason and should be held accountable if in fact it is sold or be made a bargaining chip in this whole Act 47 fiasco.
Water in today's world is a hot investment. There are companies out there that would pay just about any price to own the water supply we all enjoy and are blessed with.
Think about how dry its been for most of the country. Next year may be the same way. And the year after that.
Imagine now that company X owns the water supply. And imagine the money company X would make as it trucks our water out to the dry areas. Would we have enough water if we experience our own drought? Would the amount we pay for water increase? Double?
Selling would be a disaster.
So, as we all wait for this Stevens and Lee team to tell us what they feel is what we should do [because we're not that smart] to get out of the red, let's see what they're really after to "clear the books."
I'm willing to bet it's our goose that lays the golden egg - our water supply.
Francis Sanker, Altoona