The next stage of the ongoing Trenton Water Works battle will see both sides take depositions from water experts in late June with Judge Linda Feinberg scheduled to hear arguments in court on July 13 and July 15, if needed.
The schedule comes after attorneys from the City of Trenton and New Jersey American Water Co. submitted testimony from in-house water experts in an attempt to provide a rebuttal to testimony provided by the defendant city residents.
The defendant’s expert testimony concluded that the system set to be sold by Trenton serves more than 5 percent of city residents and therefore makes the sale subject to a city-wide referendum.
When provided earlier this month, the testimony caused Judge Feinberg to reconsider her earlier decision invalidating citizens’ referendum petition and ruling the sale was not subject to referendum.
Interestingly enough, it appears the expert testimony provided by the city does not conclude the system serves less than 5 percent of city residents.
Instead the reports, which were released Friday morning, state the defendant’s expert, engineer Fed Yoerg, could not have drawn such a conclusion from a city report on the water system.
The water company’s expert testimony, however, does conclude that the outside system serves no Trenton residents, a conclusion that would support the city and water company’s position that the referendum is not subject to referendum.
Regardless of Judge Feinberg’s eventual ruling, it appears the Trenton water sale faces many more months of court action. With a ruling for the city, the defendant-residents still have ample fodder to pursue an appeal at the state Appellate Division.