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Bucks County Moves Ahead on $1.1 Billion Offer to Sell Sewer System to Aqua Pa.

Bucks County Moves Ahead on $1.1 Billion Offer to Sell Sewer System to Aqua Pa. | Newtown News of Interest |

The Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority (BCWSA) serves about 100,000 households in 31 towns in Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester Counties. The authority announced Wednesday, July 13, 2022, it is considering a formal offer of $1.1 billion from Aqua Pennsylvania to buy its sewer system, which makes up about three-quarters of BCWSA’s customer base. If the sale is approved, the remaining BCWSA entity would serve only drinking water customers.


The privatization would generate a huge windfall for Bucks County government at the expense of 75,000 sewer customers who would pay higher rates under private owners.


The board got an earful on Wednesday as about 30 spectators crowded the BCWSA’s tiny meeting room in Doylestown Township to denounce the board’s move, which was not advertised in advance and appeared on a hastily amended agenda (see photo). “It’s a disgrace what’s happening here,” said Len Hughes Jr., a union shop steward with the AFSCME local that represents the authority’s supervisors.


Under Aqua’s proposal, current sewer rates would be frozen for a year. But in the coming years, rates would eventually increase to match Aqua’s rates, which are now about $88 compared with BCWSA’s average monthly rate of $48.


Though BCWSA’s fees are now much lower than those charged by Aqua, a projection conducted for the authority projected that its rates under continued public ownership would increase at a quicker pace than Aqua’s in the next 10 years to pay for anticipated upgrades to its aging sewer mains and treatment plants to resolve sewage overflow issues, said Jones. In about a decade, the $40 difference in bills between BCWSA and Aqua would shrink to about $20, he said.


Still, by that math, about 10 years from now customers would be paying $20 more a month under Aqua compared with BCWSA.


johnmacknewtown's insight:


The Bucks County Association of Township Officials (BACTO) sent an email to township officials – including supervisors – urging them to oppose the recently announced proposed sale. The sale of BCWSA “raises grave concerns,” said BCATO. More...


Listen to "BCWSA & Aqua Host Meeting With Municipal Partners": 

As a “municipal partner” local elected officials – including Newtown Township supervisors – were invited to a special meeting on July 25, 2022, at the Bucks County Community College. This 12-minute audio clip from that meeting, which ran on for more than 2 hours, focuses on concerns relevant to Newtown Township.


The Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority will host public forums in the lower and upper ends of the county.


The first meeting will take place Tuesday, July 26 at Bucks County Community College Upper Bucks Campus’s Great Room in the North Building at 1 Hillendale Road in Perkasie from 10 a.m. to noon.


The second meeting will happen Tuesday, July 26 at Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Township Campus in the Gallagher Room in the Rollins Center at 275 Swamp Road in Newtown Township from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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