Sunday, October 31, 1999
Bergen County's sewage authority has rejected a bid by United Water Resources and instead is negotiating with OMI, a Colorado company, to run parts or all of the authority's waste-water operation.
The Bergen County Utilities Authority has picked Operations Management International, a Denver-based company, as the prospective manager. OMI was among three companies seeking to run parts or all of the BCUA operation, which pipes sewage from 46 Bergen municipalities and disposes of the sludge. The other bidders were United Water Resources of Harrington Park and Professional Services Group of Rhode Island (PSG division of Vivendi).
The decision on whether to privatize will depend on which operating cost is lower, BCUA or OMI, officials said.
The BCUA's choice of OMI comes nearly five years after County Executive
William "Pat" Schuber convened a panel -- at a cost of about $125,000 -- to
determine whether the BCUA could save money by privatizing some or all of its waste-water
operation. For years, mainly in the early 1990s, the authority was criticized for poor
management, patronage, and inefficiency. The main target was the agency's solid-waste
operation, but in 1995 Schuber's panel concluded the BCUA
could save $10 million to $16 million a year by privatizing the operation (emphasis added).
Copyright © 1999 Bergen Record Corp.