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No privatization?

After reviewing cost estimates, City manager will recommend bagging privatization

The Sunnyside City Council will be holding a special meeting Saturday, March 5, at 10 a.m. at the Sunnyside Law and Justice Center.

At the meeting, it is anticipated that Sunnyside City Manager Bob Stockwell will recommend to the Council members to not proceed with the issue of privatizing the city's water and wastewater services.

The city had been looking at entering into a contract with Veolia Water to privatize the city's water and wastewater services.

Stockwell said this morning (Friday) that his recommendation to not pursue the privatization came after Finance Director Bud Schatz presented Stockwell with a revised spread sheet concerning potential cost savings if the city did enter into a contract with Veolia Water to privatize.

It was just at this past Monday night's Sunnyside City Council meeting that members were preparing to approve the privatization issue. However, Council had delayed the issue, planning to hold more community meetings to better educate the public on the "ins and outs" of privatization.

It had been suggested to the community and Council that the city would save in the neighborhood of $289,000 annually by privatizing the water and wastewater services. Stockwell said this morning that after reviewing the revised cost estimates presented by Schatz, the city would only actually save around $25,000. Stockwell said the minimal savings would not justify the city entering into a contract to privatize the water and wastewater services.

Stockwell said he had asked the staff to reevaluate the cost estimates of entering into the contract with Veolia Water.

"Left out of that (initial) calculation were well over $200,000 of expenses that would continue to be our responsibility," said Stockwell.

Also at Saturday's meeting, Council is planning to hold a 30-minute executive session to discuss personnel issues. No decision is expected to be made.

Tim Graff/Daily Sun News

Joe Ortega and Don Clift were on the job at the Sunnyside Wastewater facility. The city council will hear a recommendation from city manager Bob Stockwell in a special meeting Saturday, not to privatize the water and wastewater departments.

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