Westfield Mayor Andy Cook announced recentlythe city is exploring the idea of transferring the water and wastewater utilities to a qualified operator. The city recentlyissued a request for proposal. According to Cook, the move is one many cities are exploring as they balance limited budgets with population growth, infrastructure improvements and stable utility rates for residents.
The request for proposal will be sent broadly to utility companies and organizations as a part of determining interest in transferring the city’s assets.
“Many cities in the Midwest and across the nation are faced with meeting the demands of growth,” said Cook. “Westfield is exploring various creative options that will preserve an adequate source of water for the future, address environmental mandates relating to wastewater, solve urgent capital needs resulting from rapid growth and harness future water rate increases.”
The city’s goal, according to Cook, is to find a way to relieve the financial burden of utility rates while alleviating debt and addressing much-needed improvements through the city simultaneously.
“With enormous development of our city on the horizon, outsourcing management or ownership of certain water and wastewater assets could enable the city to plan for our growth more efficiently,” Cook said. “We have to consider the recent change in legislation regarding aquifer control and how this could affect the future of Westfield utility services.”
Proposals are expected to be received by mid-June and will be evaluated by an advisory team. A recommended course of action is expected to be delivered to Cook and City Council by late July.
The city has created a Website dedicated to the possible water and wastewater utility transfer of assets at www.westfield.in.gov. The site will contain all relevant important documents, including the request for proposal. Additional information and updates will be sent to rate payers’ homes and a series of public community meetings scheduled in the upcoming months to discuss the request. Those dates, times and locations can be found on the Website. For more information, call 804-3001.