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Water Industry News

Aug. 12, 2004

Southwest Water subsidiary to operate Moss Point, MS utilities


THE SUN HERALD

Representatives of ECO Resources Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Water Company said they expect to take over the city of Moss Point's water, sewer, meter reading, and gas departments within the next 30 days.

John Jeffcoat, a consultant with ECO Resources Inc., said he could not go into the specifics on the privatization deal. Company representatives met again with city leaders Wednesday afternoon.

Mayor Frank Lynn could not be reached for comment. He did, however, say last week that if the city decides to privatize, "we will contact the union and let them know first of what's going on."

Chico McGill, lead representative with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 733, which represents certain city workers, is out of town and could not be reached for comment. He has raised concerns about privatizing.

This past spring, board members invited the company to give a presentation on how it could help the city save money and improve services.

The city has struggled financially following the closings of its three largest employers, International Paper Mill, Rohm and Haas, and Shipley Co.

ECO Resources, headquartered in Houston, has support assets of nearly $300 million and 100 years' experience in the water industry from its corporate parent, Southwest Water Co., according to its Web site.