Water Industry News

Mexico City Missouri may sell wastewater treatment facility assets
to American Water Company

The Mexico City council voted unanimously to allow city manager Tanna Parish to execute an agreement with Missouri-American Water Company for the sale of the city’s wastewater treatment facility.  

According to Parish, the asset purchase agreement is actually a sales contract for the facility and is subject to voter approval, as well as approval of the public service commission.  The issue will be on the upcoming people four election ballot.  

The agreement includes a $5.1 million price tag; a three year rate freeze and the assumption of five of the six employees at the plant with the sixth employee being retained by the city in another department.  

Parrish explained to the council prior to their vote that due to a lawsuit in the last couple of years that sought to enforce the EPA guidelines set forth in 1978, Missouri would now be required to increase their number of whole body contact lakes and streams from 5,000 to 20,000.  That would mean tougher regulations on more bodies of water and Parish isn’t  certain Mexico could keep up with all the regulations and keep sewer rates as low as they are currently.  

A cost study done by city administrative staff showed a projected increase in sewer rates are 40% if the city retains control over the facility and that estimate does not include costs that may be accrued in keeping pace with EPA regulations.  

“I think there are some good reasons here for going ahead and doing this, but again, it is up to the public,” Parish explained to the council.  The sales contract must be entered into by the council before the matter can become one of public majority.