Monday, August 1, 2011

"Choking" Economics have Small Towns Looking at Public-Private Partnerships

By Joseph Naylor

Marketing Manager, AdEdge Water Technologies LLC.

A small town west of Atlanta, Georgia has seen the value of all of its land, buildings and vehicles, shrink by 43 percent since the beginning of our current economic recession.  Key public servant positions are being eliminated and city employees are being furloughed and taking salary cuts.  City officials propose tax increases to angry and frustrated citizens.  It’s just one town among thousands across our nation seeking solutions to the challenges of our current economic state.  

Rarely considered by small town governments in the past, Public-Private Partnerships (Privatization or P3’s) are entering the dialog in many public hearings across the nation.  Public-Private Partnerships utilize private sector resources to finance and or manage a variety of municipal services including energy production and water and wastewater treatment. 

Today, many water and wastewater treatment facilities remain publically owned and operated, but the interest in PPP’s has significantly increased across the country. 

The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1985 provides educational workshops across the country.  In September, 2010 a NCPPP sponsored workshop entitled “The Future of Water Partnership in the West” was held in Phoenix, AZ.  The meeting was keynoted by Arizona Corporate Commission Chair Kristin Mayes, who spoke about how PPPs can address the capital needs of the “graying and fraying” water infrastructure of the state. She also emphasized the relationship between energy goals, water and the rising expectations of the public. Panel discussions included how PPP’s are meeting these challenges, innovative financing tools for projects, and managing the complex relationship between water and energy.

If your water treatment system needs funding for a newer more energy efficient system or renovation, take a look at Public-Private Partnership opportunities and consider the following from the TOP 10 facts about PPP’s, published by the NCPPP.

 “Clean, safe water is achieved through public-private partnerships. The stringent health and environmental standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act have presented difficulties for some local governments without the budget flexibility to make major capital improvements in water and wastewater facilities. Public-private partnerships have enabled the construction of state-of-the-art water management facilities, while using efficient operations to hold down costs to ratepayers and provide a way of meeting those "un-funded mandates" from the federal government”. 

VCLEAR Capital LLC, a sister company of AdEdge Water Technologies, provides financing assistance for water treatment systems. For more information contact Bill Gafford, President VCLEAR Capital LLC