Johnston approves proposal to supply water to proposed Burrillville power plant
By: Ana Bottary
JOHNSTON, R.I. - The town of Johnston is now on track to supply water for the proposed Burrillville Power Plant after Tuesday night's unanimous town council vote.
"It was the best economical decision. To turn my back on 18 million dollars or even quite frankly 2 million dollars, I really shouldn't be sitting here if I did that," said Mayor Joe Polisena.
While Johnston gets its water supply from the Providence Water Company, Mayor Polisena says there's nothing stopping the town from re-selling it to Invenergy.
"We have an open ended agreement, they sell wholesale water to us it doesn't say how many gallons we have to buy, it doesn't say who we sell it to. We have the right to sell it to anybody and buy or sell as little as we want."
Woonsocket's City Council voted down a deal because they had safety concerns.
“The council worked for over a month an and a half with Invenergy to try and come up with a deal that would work for the safety and the benefit of Woonsocket and it just fell apart," said Woonsocket City Council President Daniel Gendron.
Burillville Town Councilor Jeremy Bailey, an outspoken opponent of the plant, says the agreement with Johnston will help Invenergy, but it doesn't mean the power plant is a done deal.
"There is a whole statewide sitting process that needs to take place before a permit is awarded or denied," said Burriville Town Councilor Jeremy Bailey.
ABC6 did receive a statement from the Providence Water Supply Board Wednesday night, which says once a wholesale customer like the Town of Johnston has purchased water from them, it's the wholesalers discretion as to who they resell water too, and that they're not aware of any restrictions they can impose.