The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 10, 2013

Upcoming test to determine WPCF management

(Continued)

"The thought was, we really need a specialist to assist us in obtaining those RFPs so we know what questions to ask and what to look for in a possible agreement with a private company," Keith said. "Because that position is open, several council members are just looking at what our options are and privatization was an option. But just because we're asking for numbers does not mean they would've went in that direction. They wanted to put the issue to rest, one way or another."

Reeves said he doesn't believe privatizing the facility could save the city a significant amount of money.

"It's been looked at a couple times," he said. "In 2010, [Veolia Water] did not submit any numbers for what the savings would be, but they actually said it would not be a significant savings [to privatize operations] and would not be something they'd be interested in."

Veolia Water provides contract operator services for water and wastewater facilities, running more than 200 facilities in North America, according to the company website. Veolia representatives did not return requests for comment as of press time Wednesday.

Reeves declined to comment on the City Council's discussion Monday night.

Most likely, the city will open up the hiring process again, Keith said.

"We clearly have to get a superintendent in place with a Grade IV," she said. "We're running out of time with the DNR to get that done. They're encouraging us very strongly to get a superintendent in place, but it's not easy to find superintendents. That Grade IV is a very difficult certification to obtain and there are a very limited number of Grade IV operators in the state, so I'm thinking we may have to increase the salary to be able to attract someone."

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