Vice Mayor’s Statement Regarding Water System Sale
Via CITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
May 14, 2012
During this evening’s Council meeting Falls Church Vice Mayor Dave Snyder commented on the proposed sale of the City’s water system.
“The City is taking the necessary steps to sell its public water distribution system after a long and concerted effort by Fairfax County to drive the City out of providing water service in the County. The sale is not driven by financial stress in the City. The City of Falls Church is financially sound, maintaining high bond ratings and high quality public services.”
“The City is taking responsible steps to divest its water utility assets with appropriate protections for our customers and utility employees embedded in the Agreement for Sale. The proceeds from the sale will be deployed to meet other core public needs. Those who are concerned about private ownership of water utility systems should encourage Fairfax Water to participate in the bidding process.”
Concerning water quality: “The City water system is a distribution system only. Whichever entity purchases and operates the City water system in the future will continue to receive treated drinking water from the Washington Aqueduct, operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps has a long track record of meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements for the water that we deliver to our customers.”
Rate structure: “Rates will be frozen for one year after the sale. If a private entity were to purchase and operate the water system, rates in the future would be regulated by the State Corporation Commission.”
Service level: “Water service is one of the most highly regulated industries in the United States. The State Corporation Commission regulates the level of service for private water providers in Virginia.”
Following the statement the Council voted, 5-0, to give preliminary approval for the sale, with Mayor Baroukh and Ms. Gardner absent. A second reading and vote is scheduled for next month. Final approval of the sale would be via a referendum.
By (see byline)
May 14, 2012