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Belville press release: Statement from Belville on Leland RO “offer”

Thursday, May 16

Leland’s so-called “offer” to build the RO plant in exchange for it not only building it, but also
owning it, shows again that they are not interested in providing clean water to its citizens. It’s
always been about grabbing money and power.

Here’s what Leland just called the RO plant in their lawsuit against Belville: Excessive.
Unreasonable. Unnecessary.

Now, apparently, the plant is perfectly fine IF Leland get to BUILD IT and OWN IT.

People could have been drinking GenX and PFAS-free water NOW if it were NOT for Leland’s
actions to stop the plant over the years.

Leland fought the construction of the plant at every turn, including suing in court in 2017 to
have a key permit denied because they said the RO plant would harm the environment. The
challenge was easily tossed out of court but it was referred to throughout the election.

Leland also tried to dissolve H2GO in 2015, through a resolution and an attempt to have its
legislators pass a state bill eliminating H2GO’s ability to exist.

This is all a twist on the old adage. If you can’t beat them, just take them over. This is not, in
any way, a regional solution. It’s merely a takeover of H2GO. After all, if it’s a regional
proposal, how come they didn’t tell anyone before a 2am press release?

Another fact slipped into Leland’s press release is the idea that an extension of the Belville
annexation agreement, which expires in 2023, should be tied to the water plant.

The two issues have NOTHING to do with each other. This clearly shows that Leland is trying
to use the plant fight to amass money and power. They want to own all of the development in
H2GO’s service area through this so-called offer.

Some additional points to make.

Leland has stated early and often that the transfer disenfranchised voters. By conducting this
hostile takeover of the RO plant project, and the treatment of water to all of H2GO’s service
area, they are seeking to disenfranchise voters as well.

By building and owning the plant, Leland wi have power over setting rates and charging fees.
Cost overruns? Charge H2GO. Higher maintenance costs? Charge H2GO.

For years, we’ve also heard that H2GO, despite a major award-winning utility with certified
water professionals, didn’t have the experience or knowledge to build an RO plant.

Now Leland, which doesn’t even operate a water system or have any certified drinking water
staff, says they can not only build it, but own it?
They can’t even properly operate their sewer system. And we all know about their
construction of their town hall.

It must also be pointed H2GO’s current majority – Jeff Gerken, Trudy Trombley, and Bill Beer -
ran for their seats for only one reason: to kill the RO Plant.

They have said this time and time and time again as they’ve pounded away fighting against
the construction of the plant. They even backed Leland’s failed permit challenge, stating the
plant would harm the environment.

With Leland’s change of heart, they are now the only elected officials who stand out in public
as being against the plant’s construction.

Mike McGill
For the Town of Belville

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