Water Infrastructure Objective Study Group

Focus: Growth and Retention of Existing Business, Quality of Life & Place

The Water Company Objective Study Group is seeking to complete an objective, fact-based analysis to determine the costs and benefits associated with the City of Peoria exercising—or not exercising—its repurchase provision of the 1889 Franchise Agreement. As part of this study, subcommittees will review the financial implications for the City, ratepayers and surrounding communities and investigate alternative ownership structures, infrastructure investments and service levels for customers. Additionally, there will be a review of potential impacts to the employees of Illinois American Water.

Mission Statement

To complete an objective, fact-based analysis to determine the costs and benefits associated with the City of Peoria exercising – or not exercising – its repurchase provision of the 1889 Franchise Agreement, and subsequent documentation, with the Illinois-American Water Company Peoria District, using internal and external expertise wherever available.

To include financial considerations for the City of Peoria, ratepayers and surrounding communities, and on the long-term growth of the City and the regional economy.

To investigate alternative ownership/management structures, infrastructure investments and service levels for customers of the Illinois-American Water Company Peoria District.

To consider potential impacts on the employees of the Illinois-American Water Company Peoria District.

To make an objective recommendation to the CEO Council on the merits of exercising the repurchase provision – or not, based on the financial analysis and other facts obtained in the detailed study.

Sub-committees

Best Practices/Water District Structuring

Communicate with peer and aspirational cities to discuss their water agreements, rates, structuring, etc.
Chair: Diane Cullinan Oberhelman

Information Acquisition

Review current contract and other public information, including ICC data.
Chair: Mark DeSantis

Employee Welfare Consideration

Evaluate implications of purchase on labor unions, employees, and benefits through investigation of other similar situations identified by the Information Acquisition sub-committee.

Legal/Legislative

Review and evaluate current and proposed State and Federal laws governing acquisition, recent rate changes, and data availability.
Chair: Dave Ransburg

Appraisal/Bonding/Pro Forma

Obtain and evaluate relevant financial information, including prior appraisals.  Gain an in-depth understanding of the appraisal process.  Understand rating basis used for the Peoria District vs other similar districts.
Chair: Joe Glawe

Findings

CEO Council Water Infrastructure Objective Study – Full Report
(September 15, 2016)

Water Infrastructure Objective Analysis Presentation 2016

Water Infrastructure Objective Analysis Infographic

water-study-infographic-3 
*click image to enlarge

We Want to Talk to YOU!

Additional Resources

WTVP – At Issue with H. Wayne Wilson
Peoria Journal Star – Now the Real Discussion Can Begin
Peoria Journal Star – City Council Interest Has Grown
Peoria Journal Star – Private Water Co. (written by former IAW VP & GM, T. Wilkes Coleman)
Peoria Journal Star – Water Company Must be More Transparent
Peoria Journal Star – Letter: Why is Peoria Waiting to Buy Back
Peoria Journal Star – Higher Taxes? Fewer Service? Water Co. Buyout Instead?
Peoria Journal Star – Letter: Utility Workers are Public Servants, too
Peoria Journal Star – Letter: Start with Facts on Potential Water Company Purchase
Peoria Journal Star – Letter: Peoria Should Explore Buying Water Company
Peoria Journal Star – Peoria, IAW Suspend Buyout-options Talks (’14)
League of Women Voters – Local Study About Public Ownership
League of Women Voters – League Wants Peoria Area to Invest
WMBD – Lawmakers and IAW: Promoting Transparency…
WMBD – Sierra Club/Families Against Toxic Waste
WEEK – New Bills Seek More Transparency from IAW
WEEK – IAW Announces New Water Rates (’16)
Peoria Public Radio – Peoria’s Water Utility ‘Relationship’…
Peoria Public Radio – Business Group Urges City (’16)
Peoria Public Radio – Debate Over Ownership
National Geographic – Years of Living Dangerously (Documentary Series)
National Geographic – Water Crisis
Washington Post – Towns Sell Their Public Water Systems
Food & Water Watch – Trends in Privatization Report
Food & Water Watch – Cost Comparison/Public vs Private
WMBD 1470 – Lawmakers Back Bills on Water Utility
WMBD 1470 – Illinois American Water Investing Millions
WMBD 1470 – Public Against
Save The Water – The Issue of Water Shortage
Illinois News Network – Peoria Considers Taking Over (’16)
Woodford Times – Consumer Group Petitions ICC
The Atlantic CityLab – Poor Customers Pay the Price (’15)
Senate Bill 1536 – Utilities – Water Pricing Report – transparency (Sen. Weaver ’17)
House Bill 462 – Utilities-Water Pricing Report – appraisal process (Rep. Spain ’17)
House Bill 1379 –  Water & Sewer Utilities Systems Viability Act – Value (’13)
The Seattle Times – Washington State Construction Budget Held Up in Dispute over Water Rights
Illinois American Water