HARRISBURG — The city of Harrisburg is soliciting letters of interest from industry firms to purchase the water and sewer system owned by Capital Region Water.
Capital Region Water took over operation of the city’s systems in 2013.
Now, the city wants to see if another firm could step in and reduce the costs of rates and fees for residents.
Capital Region Water and its Board of Directors issued this statement:
We share the mayor’s concerns about infrastructure. The challenges associated with maintaining and upgrading an outdated and aging sewer and water system are immense. At Capital Region Water, we face these challenges each and every day.
Since 2013, Capital Region Water has been working to advance a plan that is fair and equitable to ratepayers while also meeting state and federal regulatory clean water requirements. And we’re making progress. You can see the investments and improvements being made in every corner of our city and throughout our system regionally.
We need to build on this good work and continue with a community-based approach that restores our failing infrastructure, improves the health of our local waterways, and beautifies neighborhoods across Harrisburg and surrounding communities.
Given that most research shows rates increase approximately 60 percent when similar publicly-owned utilities are privatized, it is difficult, especially at this early stage, to understand how a plan like this benefits ratepayers. When ownership and operational control of water and wastewater systems remain local, customers experience better customer relations, better rates and higher quality products and services.
As we always do, we look forward to working with the mayor and city council on our shared priority to ensure our communities grow and thrive.