And now, a look at the other two existential crises occurring at this moment in history: the pandemic and the ensuing economic collapse.
One of the peculiar enthusiasms here in the shebeen is water—who has it, who doesn’t, who’s gaining it, who’s losing it, and, most important, who’s turning a buck on it. The revenue loss from the pandemic has put intolerable pressure on the budgets of cities and towns. City councils and mayors are looking for whatever lifeboats are handy. In Chester, Pennsylvania, . The mayor of Chester recently to his constituents.
As you may know, the City created and has owned the Chester Water Authority for almost 100 years and until 2011, appointed all of its board members. However, in 2011, at the urging of a single senator, legislation was passed which gave equal board seats to the City, Chester County and Delaware County. Since that time, the CWA has acted as though it alone owns the assets, a position with which the City strongly disagrees. About two years ago we began looking at whether and how to monetize the assets of the Chester Water Authority and, after significant litigation, we have won an interim victory and are now able to get a sense of the market for these assets. While the litigation continues, we have undertaken an important first step when we issued a request for proposals in February.
A little summary first. The Pennsylvania operations of two major, national private companies, American Water and Aqua America, submitted bids ranging from $330 million to $410 million. American Water, based in South Jersey, submitted the highest bid, but that bid also comes with the highest rates to our citizens. Aqua America’s two bids are for lower amounts, but still would result in hundreds of millions of dollars for the City, and lower customer rates. Further, Aqua’s response to the RFP was the only one which committed to an upfront payment to the City of millions of dollars.
As is the case with prisons and so many other things, privatizing your water supply is generally a terrible idea. Rate increases inevitably ensue, and the loss of control over something as essential as water is an open invitation to the worst of predatory capitalism. And more than a few people in Pennsylvania have a notion of what that entails. From :
There was plenty of resentment and opposition when the city of Chester and its Chester Water Authority built the reservoir. Farmland and Octoraro Creek, now a state scenic river, were flooded. People lost their land. As an olive branch, residents were told at the time that the public would be able to use the land and water. And by all accounts, the independent Chester Water Authority has been a good steward of the land and welcoming of public use. Now, there is a real fear all those public uses will be taken away if the city of Chester, now in a state-declared fiscal emergency, is allowed — or ordered — to sell the reservoir and its drinking water to a private company. Hence all those save-the-reservoir signs. There is an assumption that a private company, beholden to maximizing profits for shareholders and wary of public-use lawsuits, will fence off the entire 2,000 acres. It has happened before.
State Rep. Bryan Cutler, of Peach Bottom, and fellow Rep. John Lawrence, who represents parts of both Lancaster and Chester counties, have written a letter against the sale of the Chester Water Authority to the state Department of Community and Economic Development, urging the state agency not to allow the sale. So has every state senator and representative in the service area. One reason, Cutler and Lawrence said, is “to protect public access to the Octoraro Reservoir.” Many other public officials in the Chester Water Authority’s service area have come out against the sale, mostly on grounds that drinking water costs will go up.
im电竞官网-A lot of desperate local politicians are going to do desperate things, especially since it’s more than clear that Washington likely will be no help in alleviating the fiscal vise in which they find themselves. Water, however, as we repeatedly learn, is a very different thing altogether. Actual thirst is more compelling than metaphorical thirst. Ask the folks , or , or , what they think of that choice.