Voters in Russiaville, Ind. have filed more than enough signatures to require a public ballot on any sale of the Town’s water system to New Jersey-based American Water Company, leaders of the Utility Workers Union of America announced today.
The Town Council has scheduled a public hearing for Monday, March 17 at 7:00 p.m. to consider selling the Russiaville water system to Indiana American Water, a private, for-profit subsidiary of American Water. Over the past two weeks, Russiaville voters have filed more than 160 petitions to require a public ballot on any sale.
Indiana law provides that municipalities must submit the sale of any public utility to a ballot if voters equaling at least 2% of the total vote cast in the last election for Secretary of State sign petitions asking for a vote. In Russiaville, approximately 335 voters cast ballots in that election, so clearly far more than enough voters have filed petitions to require a public vote before the Town Council can sell the community’s water system.
“We commend the citizens of Russiaville for stepping forward to make certain that any decision this important should be made by all of the voters, and not merely by members of the Town Council,” stated Mike Langford, UWUA National President. “We believe the sheer number of voters signing petitions indicates strong opposition to any sale of one of the community’s most valuable assets – its public water system – to an out-of-state, private corporation.”
“Now we urge the Town Council to do the right thing by terminating any scheme to sell Russiaville’s water system to an out-of-state company,” Langford continued.
The UWUA represents 2,500 employees of American Water in eleven states across the U.S., and has first-hand experience with the company’s “profits first” mentality ahead of all other concerns. In recent weeks, the UWUA has worked with concerned citizens in Russiaville to build opposition to any sale of the town’s public water system.
The Utility Workers Union of America represents working men and women in water and other utility industries, in the public and private sectors in Indiana and across the U.S. More information concerning the UWUA’s opposition to American Water’s drive to take over community water systems is available at www.StopRussiavilleWaterSale.com and www.AmericanWaterAlert.net.