Water deal passes in Trenton

Trenton City Council voted Tuesday to sell off revenue-generating Trenton Water Works infrastructure in the outlying suburbs for an $80 million cash infusion that is projected to be exhausted by July 2010.

The split vote saw City Council members and 2010 mayoral hopefuls Annette Lartigue and Manny Segura vote against the sale ordinance, which will hold off devastating multimillion-dollar budget gaps until the time when the next mayor of Trenton takes office.

Although the sale’s removal of maintenance and capital obligations from Trenton’s shoulders is beneficial, the city’s plan to exhaust the $80 million in less than two years make the deal a stinker for Trenton.

When that time period is up, the city will deal with larger fiscal imbalances with diminished local revenue and one less major asset in its portfolio.

As South Broad Street resident Dan Dodson noted on his blog recently, you don’t sell your car to pay for groceries, and that’s sort of what City Council did Tuesday.

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