Conshohocken’s Borough Council votes to not accept $50+ million bid on the sewer system

During its’ March 17th meeting, Conshohocken’s Borough Council voted 7-0 to not sell its sewer system. The high bid was $52 million (with no rate freeze) and $55 million (with a three-year rate freeze) from Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority, which is a public utility established by Bucks County. The other two bids were from Aqua for $42.25 million and Pennsylvania American Water for $30 million. Both chose to only bid with no rate freeze. You can view the presentation on the sewer system bid process at the bottom of this article.

Borough Council considered selling the sewer system to pay for an infrastructure plan (and some other things, see page 13 below) that was developed in 2018. Borough Council also explored a tax increase and how that would compare to the impact of rate increases on residents. If sold to Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority, the estimated sewer rate increases over 10 years would result in approximately $1,600 in additional expenses for residents. A tax geared towards raising the $28 million needed for the infrastructure program would result over 10 years in a $4,000 cost for a home assessed at $100,000, $8,000 for a home assessed at $200,000, and $12,000 for a home assessed at $300,000. A tax hike was considered during the meeting.

Once Borough Council voted to not sell the sewer system, the members voted 7-0 to instruct the borough’s administration to meet with the board of the Conshohocken Sewer Authority to develop a memorandum of understanding between the borough and authority. The purpose of this wasn’t clear, so we will follow-up with what exactly this means and how it pertains to the funding needed for the infrastructure plan.

Sewer Presentation by PFM