We at the Kentucky Resources Council join family and friends in mourning the passing and celebrating the life of Marty Solomon, who died on February 2, 2020 at age 86.
Marty was a constant and clear voice on important issues and will be remembered as a person who was not reluctant to offer his time and talent in support of responsible government and public education. One of Marty’s memorable efforts involved his pro bono assistance to clients of the Kentucky Resources Council. In 2007, Kentucky American Water Company filed with the Kentucky Public Service Commission for a certificate to build a new water treatment plant, transmission pipeline and associated facilities. The unusually large water pipeline, 42 inches in diameter, was to stretch for more than 30 miles, mostly through Franklin and Scott counties, and cross various streams, including Elkhorn Creek. The premise for the construction was that existing facilities would not be able to provide adequate water supply for the projected needs of KAWC customers within the next decade or sooner. The cost of the project was said to be around 165 million dollars. The investor-owned for-profit water utility would be entitled to recover the costs of construction through rates, as well as a significant return on investment, thus making money by spending it.
Marty, a retired university professor whose substantial expertise included computing and statistics, volunteered to assist the citizens group opposing the issuance of the certificate of public convenience and necessity by the PSC. His analysis of future water demand under average and peak demand conditions, based on historic demand trends, seriously questioned whether the demand projections put forward by Kentucky American were reasonable. His analysis was dismissed by the PSC order in an unfair and harsh rebuke both of his qualifications and his work product. Marty lived long enough to see that his projections were far more accurate than those accepted with little question by the PSC. KAWC customers will be burdened for a generation for the costs of the plant and associated transmission pipelines that have proven not be needed to meet actual current demand. It would be a fitting tribute were the PSC to open a case to determine whether the ratepayers should continue to pay for an asset that has proven not to be needed or useful.
His obituary can be read here.