Office of Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland
Date: Friday, June 12, 2019
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 tonight approved, and the City is immediately issuing, a request for proposals (“RFP”) that seeks bids for the assets of the Chester Water Authority.
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. By issuing the RFP, City Council tonight decided to explore how to pursue the path toward a more fiscally healthy future for the City.
Over the last two years, lawyers for the Authority and the City of Chester, along with myself, have worked to try and reach a settlement agreement in principle. To date, we have been unsuccessful in doing so.
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.
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 July 1. Other information about the process is detailed in the RFP.