Local Municipal Ownership
Saves You Money

Sale of York City’s Wastewater (Sewer) Treatment Plant
impacts city residents and businesses

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Background on the Sale

On July 10, 2020, the City of York issued a request for proposal to solicit bids from investor-owned utilities to purchase the City’s sewage collection system, interceptors and wastewater treatment plant If sold, an investor-owned utility would own, and operate the City’s collection system and bill City residents and business owners for sewer service.

Based on the RFP parameters, the Authority did not meet the requirements to submit a response as bid documents only allowed for the purchase of all assets. When the City was asked to consider an alternative bid scenario that would allow for bids to purchase only part of the assets, this request was denied.

IMPACT ON BUSINESSES

Sewer rates could significantly increase year over year. As a result, loss of economic development opportunity could occur as these investor-owned companies are accountable to their shareholders, not the community.

IMPACT ON CITIZENS

Sewer rates could significantly increase year over year as these investor-owned companies are accountable to their shareholders, not the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

The York Area Regional Sewer Authority was formed in response to information the City was considering selling the wastewater treatment plant. The Authority is comprised of five municipalities that utilize the city system and whose residents would be impacted as a result of a sale.

The Authority’s sole purpose is to own and operate the wastewater treatment plant to maintain local control as well as keep rates for residents and businesses low. The sale of the wastewater treatment plant to York Area Regional Sewer Authority is in the community’s best interest. An authority provides local ownership and accountability. This provides for a heightened sensitivity to utility rates and annual increases. An authority is accountable to its customers, not its investors.

  • West Manchester Township
  • Spring Garden Township
  • Manchester Township
  • York Township
  • North York Bureau

While West York also leverages the city wastewater treatment plant for overflow services, they are not included in the Authority because they are owned by a private entity and not managed by a municipality. York City is also not involved due to the City leadership directly overseeing the sale. Other municipalities are not primary users of the wastewater treatment plant and if they do use it, only use in emergency situations.

Based on the parameters of the RFP distributed, the Authority did not meet the requirements to submit a response as bid documents only allowed for the purchase of all assets and the Authority’s focus is only on purchase of the wastewater treatment plant. When the City was asked to consider an alternative bid scenario that would allow for bids to purchase only part of the assets, this request was denied.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the answer and you would need to ask the Mayor. Our multiple requests have been denied as he has been advised by his attorneys not to meet with us. We want him to know we only want what is in the best interest of the city and its residents which is to maintain local control of the wastewater treatment plant in order to avoid rate increases.

The sale of the wastewater treatment plant to the Authority is in the community’s best interest.  An authority provides local ownership and accountability.  This provides for a heightened sensitivity to utility rates and annual increases.  An authority is accountable to its customers, not its investors.

The Authority municipalities understand and appreciate the financial pressures the City of York is feeling. The Authority intends to provide much needed capital to the City through this transaction but balance that with the future control and operational cost associated with the wastewater treatment plant. The sale of a publicly owned asset is a one-time opportunity. We also believe it’s in the best interest of all parties the City become a member* of the Authority and maintain an equal vote in order to represent the best interests of its residents and business owners. The City would have an equal seat and voice to influence future management and operation of the wastewater treatment plant.

The transfer of the wastewater treatment plant to the Authority is in the community’s best interest. An authority provides local ownership and accountability. This provides for a heightened sensitivity to utility rates and annual increases. An authority is accountable to its customers, not its investors.

In sum, the Authority will provide invaluable financial assistance to the City and allow it to maintain the voice of City residents and businesses through maintaining local authority control.

In order to avoid the “Doomsday Budget” crisis the Mayor and the City of York is experiencing, the Authority can purchase the treatment plant at a fair market price in the next 60-90 days giving the City the financial resources to meet its financial obligations (where as an investor-owned purchase would not be finalized until 2022).

About the Authority

The York Area Regional Sewer Authority is comprised of five municipalities that utilize the city system and whose residents would be impacted as a result of a sale including:

  • West Manchester Township
  • Spring Garden Township
  • Manchester Township
  • York Township
  • North York Borough

The Authority’s sole purpose is to own and operate the wastewater treatment plant to maintain local control as well as keep rates for residents and businesses low. An authority provides local ownership and accountability. This provides for a heightened sensitivity to utility rates and annual increases. An authority is accountable to its customers, not its investors.

LATEST NEWS & UPDATES

news and updates background

Letter to the Editor – January 5, 2020

The York Area Regional Sewer Authority has been steadfast on its goal of ensuring an outcome to the sale of the wastewater treatment system that was in the best interest of the City and its residents. Therefore, please consider the following…
news and updates background

OP-ED: YORK CITY’S MAYOR & CITY COUNCIL MUST LISTEN TO ALL OPTIONS THAT BENEFIT THEIR RESIDENTS

Since the beginning, the York Area Regional Sewer Authority has been steadfast on its goal of ensuring an outcome for the sale of the City’s wastewater treatment system that was in the best interest of both the City and its residents.    While…

Get Involved Today!

In order to avoid a future sewer rate increase, we need your help. Please consider joining us in this effort to secure a meeting with the Mayor and City Council so we can present an alternative purchase option. Here’s how you can help:

Attend a City
Council Meeting

Be a voice of concern during open comment at an upcoming City Council meeting. Meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday evening of the month at 6pm.

Contact the
Mayor’s Office

Call or email the Mayor’s office and express concern over the potential of the sale and its financial impact. Find ways to contact Mayor Helfrich below.

Contact Local
Legislators

Call or email local legislators and express concern over the potential of the sale and its impact. A complete list of contacts are below.

Contact the Mayor’s Office

Three ways to contact the Mayor’s office:

  1. Complete the City of York Response Form
  2. Email the Mayor and include Subject Line: YARSA alternative to Sewer Rate Increase
  3. Call the Mayor at his office (717)849-2221
York City Council website on tablet

Contact the York City Council Members

York City Council

Henry H. Nixon

Sandie Walker

Judy A. Ritter-Dickson

Edquina Washington

Lou Rivera

York County PA County Commissioners Office on tablet

Contact your local legislators

County Commissioners

Julie Wheeler

Doug Hoke

Ron Smith

Contact your State Representatives

PA State Senators directory on a tablet

Contact your State Senators

Contact your Congressman

Contact Congressman Scott Perry and let him know your concerns.

Congressman Scott Perry's website contact page on a tablet