When you thought Memorial Day was the only holiday on the horizon, the Chester Water Authority has slipped a Independence Day celebration today at their headquarters on 5th and Welsh featuring ice cream, soft pretzels and giveaways such as T-shirt and water glasses from noon to 2pm. While you’re there, you’ll be encouraged to sign petitions in support of legislation such as the Water Ratepayer Bill of Rights and pick up yard signs.
What the Chester Water Authority is celebrating is the 4-year anniversary of saying no to Aqua in their take over attempt of CWA starting in 2017. Since then there’s been a bunch of lawsuits filed, a few judge’s orders, a little Chester City government activity, a Save CWA movement launched, a lot of finger pointing, and tremendous confusion among rate payers as all this is being sorted out.
And then there’s a couple piece of legislation trying to make their way through Harrisburg – H.B. 97 which requires ratepayers to approve a sale to a publicly managed utility prior to the sale and H.B. 144 that includes a ratepayer referendum as well as annual reporting of average residential billing.
CWA wants you to know that they’ve saved ratepayers nearly $200 million dollars in comparison to Aqua’s current rates while Aqua thinks it’s a silly concept to get people upset.
It appears the courts are close to deciding if the city of Chester has the authority to end the Chester Water Authority. In addition, the state House Subcommittee on Governmental and Financial Oversight and the Consumer Affairs Subcommittee on Public Utilities are holding a joint hearing Wednesday in Harrisburg focused on the law that has jurisdiction over the sale of water authorities. In other words, CWA can’t be sold until somebody clarifies if water authorities like CWA can be sold.
If this topic is important to you, come out this afternoon and meet the players from CWA and a few legislators like state Rep. John Lawrence, R-13 of Chester County, sponsor of House Bill 97, the Ratepayer Referendum, and state Rep. Christina Sappey, D-158 of Chester County, sponsor of House Bill 144, the Water Ratepayer Bill of Rights. State Rep. Leanne Krueger, D-161 of Nether Providence, who will also attend the rally, has co-sponsored both pieces. Strangely, no other St. Reps are scheduled to appear.
Read Daily Times article HERE