Office of Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland
Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
contact: Aigner Cleveland
Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland Issues Statement Regarding RFP for Assets of the Chester Water Authority
(CHESTER, PA) – I am pleased to announce that the Chester City Council today approved, and the City is immediately issuing, a request for proposals (“RFP”) that seeks bids for the assets of the Chester Water Authority.
Today the city is taking the next steps as was expressly agreed between the Chester Water Authority and Chester, pursuant to an agreed upon Court approved order entered on February 3, 2020.
Under Pennsylvania law, as the incorporating entity, the city of Chester is entitled to pay off the debts of the Authority and then take ownership of its assets, if necessary. The City Council today decided to explore how to pursue that path by issuing the RFP.
Through the RFP, our government is committed to quickly getting a sense of the market and moving forward to negotiate and close a transaction.
Any proposal we can envision selecting will have to include a seamless transition from the Authority to a successful bidder and include meaningful rate protections for the system’s users and will have to come from an operator with a long track record of responsible water-industry stewardship, a history that we as a City simply do not have. For those reasons, among many others, we know we need to find the right partner to take over and own these assets if our conversations with the CWA continue to bear no fruit.
Additionally, any potential bidder will have to construct assurances that promote job security for current Chester Water Authority employees and demonstrate a willingness to work with CWA union officials.
We encourage a wide variety of bids and are open to creative proposals, as long as those proposals ensure quality water service and reasonable rates for our citizens and our neighbors in Delaware and Chester Counties.
The RFP is available from the Mayor’s Office in City Hall and will shortly be available online at our website www.chestercity.com. Bids are due on March 9, 2020 by 11:00am Eastern Standard Time. Other information about the process is detailed in the RFP.