Board of Finance candidate Jamie Barickman is calling for Eversource Energy to be engaged in the Georgetown Redevelopment project. “With the Aquarion acquisition, Eversource will be Redding’s largest landowner and its second-largest taxpayer,” said Barickman. “Their interests are inextricably linked to the town’s and they have the environmental and economic development expertise, not to mention the resources, to help us successfully realize our Georgetown goals,” he added.
Eversource Energy, New England’s largest energy company, announced the acquisition last June of Aquarion Water Company, the owner of the Saugatuck reservoir in Redding and the region’s largest private water company, for $1.7B. The acquisition was tentatively approved by the state Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) last week. This is a significant first step for Eversource into non-energy related public utility areas. With approval, Eversource will be the largest landowner in Redding, owning more than 10% of the town’s total acreage and will remain its second-largest taxpayer (after Redding Life Care [Meadow Ridge]).
“Redding is really a restricted development community that [now] supports the water interests of Eversource,” according to BOF candidate Barickman. “Nearly 90% of Redding is classified as water supply watershed land. That restricts the type and amount of development that Redding can pursue,” he added. “Georgetown is part of the Norwalk River watershed which means Eversource has a vested interest in the smart development of Georgetown too,” Barickman said.
In addition to Eversource’s environmental management and energy efficiency initiatives throughout the state, it is also a major sponsor of the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC). A municipal development advisory group that held a Board of Selectmen-sponsored training session in Redding on October 5. Eversource understands that community prosperity and growth benefit its utility businesses.
“I know the Board of Selectmen are very interested in taking advantage of any available resources that can benefit the town. Eversource could be a very valuable partner,” Barickman concluded.