Steelton considers selling water system

Steelton water system's past has had a lot of issues...

Following violations resulting in a hefty fine from the Department of Environmental Protection back in 2013, it has been an uphill batter from there.

But the future of the water system is not as clear, after a presentation from the Steelton Borough Authority pushes to sell it.

The water fund is currently $11.6 million in debt, and that will only continue to get worse.

As it stands, the water system is not sustainable under it's current model.

Projections show the public would have to pay a 55 percent increase over the next decade if the borough were to maintain ownership of the system.

Paperwork handed out at the meeting also claims at 45 years old, the filtration plant is obsolete, and will need to be replaced within the next 7-10 years at a cost of $14 million.

Selling the water system will alleviate some of these costs, but community members we spoke with say they still have concerns.

"They haven't maintained it, so maybe it's a good idea to do so. But what is the main reason they really want to sell it? Just to dump it on someone else?"said Suzzee Kuder.

Right now, there are two possible buyers, with the highest bid reaching $22.5 million.

If the sale goes through, the $11.6 million debt would be paid off, and the remaining money would be put in the borough general fund.

According to the paperwork, that bidder also committed to offering employment to all existing water employees, monthly billing, and a 24 million dollar investment into improving the system over the next decade.

The borough authority says the main goal of a sale is to ensure a stable future for the water system.

Another public input meeting will be held on Thursday night at 7 at the Steel High auditorium.

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