On the agenda for the November 20th meeting of Conshohocken’s Borough Council is an item that could mean Borough Council wants to consider selling Conshohohocken’s sewer system. The agenda item reads:
Consider approving an agreement with PFM for financial advisor services related to the sewer system
PFM has been retained in recent years by several nearby municipalities to determine the value of their sewer systems. This includes Plymouth Township, Norristown, Lower Makefield, Upper Pottsgrove, Springfield Township, and Limerick.
Municipalities have sold or are moving to sell sewer systems to generate a lump of revenue to undertake public works projects. For example, Plymouth Township is considering selling its system to fund the renovations of its township building. No decision has been made yet. Limerick, which sold its system for $75.1 million used the money for a new township building and renovations at two firehouses.
The sales of public systems to companies such as Aqua and Pennsylvania American Water has generated concerns. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
But Pennsylvania’s Office of Consumer Advocate estimates that Limerick’s 5,400 customers will pay dearly for the acquisition, and are facing an 84 percent bill increase, to $70 a month, after a rate freeze is lifted in 2020. Aqua’s customers outside Limerick are also expected to subsidize the purchase for more than a decade before realizing a tiny financial benefit from the expansion.
The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20th at 400 Fayette Street.