Peoria getting help studying possible water buyout

Sep 9, 2013

The issue of whether Peoria should be in the business of providing water to residents is up for debate again. The city has the option to pursue a water buyout every five years under a franchise agreement with Illinois American Water Company.

The council is expected to take up the issue next month, but it’s calling on a city commission to study the issue beforehand. The Sustainability Commission will look at the pros and cons of acquiring the company, gather information on Illinois American’s operational expenses and revenues, and determine the costs of financing a possible buyout.

Former councilman Bob Manning is chairing the commission. He says it’s good to have professionals outside of the council to provide feedback on the option.

“There’s no one on that committee including myself I think that has an agenda. We’re just providing information. We’re doing the legwork for the council because I know those council members are very busy doing other things, and this is just one more thing on their plate. So it we can do all the legwork for them, provide them some objective analysis, it will just help them along in their review.”

The commission is made up of seven area business people. It’s expected to have feedback before the council makes its decision by the end of October.