City Of Milwaukee May Lease Its Water Works Management
Wally Morics, Milwaukee's Comptroller and independent, elected official, has issued a request for proposals to lease the management of the city's Water Works "in order to provide the City with a stable source of revenue," according information posted on the Comptroller's website, here.
Such an agreement is in place that has privatized the management of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, but not its property.
Bidders would provide estimates of the Water Works value, along with related engineering and legal costs, for a 99-year lease, with approvals required by the Common Council, records show.
The proposal deadline is April 9th.
Given the value of water assets and public facilities, the proposal could attract attention from major consulting, management and resource companies nationally, abnd beyond.
From what I've seen Wally isn't happy about proposing this option but looking at next year's budget ($40-50 million gap) he feels like he has to offer it as an option.
This is penny wise and pound foolish to privatize the City's drinking water for 100 years, and especially inconsistent with Milwaukee's push to be the freshwater water hub of the world.
I can't stand this push toward privatization. Decisions about my drinking water would be made by a company who's sole motivation is the bottom line, rather than by a government entity who's motivation is the public good (and worst case is directly accountable to the ballot box). It's, you know, the whole point of public services. Yuck. Can't wait for the next cryptosporidium (sp?) outbreak, except next time it will be because some corporate actuary sitting in a cubicle calculated that the cost of wrongful death lawsuits would be less than the cost of preventative measures. And rather than being accountable at the ballot box, they can have me arrested for trespassing on their private property for trying to lobby them for better service.
I suspect you will see a surge in privatization at the city, county and state levels.
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