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Illinois American Water acquires water and wastewater systems from Village of Fisher

Published 03 April 2018

Illinois American Water president Bruce Hauk has announced that the company has acquired Village of Fisher’s water and wastewater systems.

The purchase of the system adds approximately 850 new water and wastewater customers to the Company’s customer base in the Champaign County District and serves a population of nearly 2,000 residents.

The Village of Fisher Board voted in favor of the sale in July 2017. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved the sale for $6.8m on March 7, 2018.

Hauk said: “We look forward to investing in the Village of Fisher and ensuring quality water and reliable wastewater service to our new customers.”

Village of Fisher Mayor Michael Bayler also supports the acquisition. He said, “We are looking forward to Illinois American Water joining our community and helping us meet our water and wastewater needs. Their knowledge and ability to provide reliable service to our residents is an investment in our public health and economic future.”

Illinois American Water will invest $2.9m in the first five years of ownership including security upgrades, meter replacements, wastewater plant improvements for regulatory compliance, and inflow and infiltration upgrades.

According to Illinois American Water’s Champaign County District field operations and production senior manager Dave Farrar, the company will also repair and paint the Fisher water tower.

One of Fisher’s residents Farrar said: “We are committed to keeping the Fisher water tower painted orange to show community pride for residents and visitors of Fisher. The improvements planned will also enhance service, public health and fire protection to Fisher.”

New customers will soon receive an Illinois American Water welcome packet in the mail. This packet includes information about online account management, billing, payment options and more. A payment drop box will be placed at the Fisher water treatment plant located at 110 West Front Street in Fisher. Payments will be picked up regularly.

The appraisal process used for the Fisher water and wastewater systems was conducted under the supervision of the ICC and established as part of the Illinois Water Systems Viability Act. According to Hauk, this law gives communities an alternative to value their water and/or wastewater system when considering being acquired by an investor-owned water utility.

Hauk said: “Previous law only allowed the investor-owned water or sewer utility to pay the original cost minus depreciation to acquire a small system, public or private. Because of this, systems were deprived of receiving adequate value for their system.”

The Village of Fisher will be incorporated into Illinois American Water’s Champaign County District, which currently serves residents in Champaign, Urbana, Sadorus, Savoy, St. Joseph, Bondville and Pesotum.

Source: Company Press Release