The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has approved the City of Salem’s Water Infrastructure Protection Act (WIPA) application on January 22, 2021, acknowledging the presence of Emergent Condition No. 4 (lack of historical investment or sustainable maintenance) and No. 5 (lack of financial capacity). This determination was made in response to the City’s attempt to secure NJDEP approval to sell or long term lease its water and sewer systems through the guidelines described in the WIPA process. Based on supporting information submitted by the City, the NJDEP, in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA) and the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (I-Bank), has determined that Salem City lacks the historical investment and financial capacity required to adequately address investment, repair, and sustainable maintenance of its water and sewer systems on a sustainable basis. With approval now granted by the NJDEP, the City intends to proceed with process of evaluating the sale or long term lease of its water and sewer systems to a public or private entity.
A petition may be filed with the municipal clerk, no later than 45 days after the publication of this notice, protesting the sale or long term lease of these assets without a public referendum. Petitions must be submitted to the City Clerk at the following address: 17 New Market Street, Salem, NJ 08079. If the petition is signed by a number of legal voters of the City equal to at least 15% of the total votes cast in the City at the last election at which members of the General Assembly were elected, a resolution to sell the systems shall not take effect unless the sale is advanced pursuant to R.S.40:62-4 and R.S.40:62-5. If a petition is not filed pursuant to this notice, a resolution to sell the systems shall not be subject to a public referendum.
By Order of the City of Salem
Ben Angeli, RMC