Sale of Exeter's wastewater plant for $93.5 million a done deal

The sale of Exeter Township's wastewater treatment plant for $93.5 million to Pennsylvania American Water is complete, the water company announced Thursday.

EXETER — The sale of Exeter Township's wastewater treatment plant to a private company is complete.

Pennsylvania American Water announced Thursday, Oct. 24, that it has acquired the township's wastewater assets for $93.5 million.

“We welcome this opportunity to provide our new customers the same high level of quality wastewater service that our current Exeter Township water customers have come to expect from our company,” Mike Doran, president of Pennsylvania American, said in a news release. “We will now commit our resources to the wastewater system, improving environmental compliance and dependability.”

Pennsylvania American already provides water service to all but about 1,300 of the 9,000 customers in Exeter, St. Lawrence and parts of Alsace and Lower Alsace townships that are served by the wastewaster system.

The Exeter supervisors agreed in April 2018 to sell the plant, a move that was approved earlier this month by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

John Granger, township manager, said the sale will benefit current and future Exeter residents.

“The plant and system were becoming an increasing burden on the township as federal and state regulations were becoming too difficult for the township to manage," Granger said. “The sale presents a unique opportunity to secure the finances of the township for residents who presently live here, while also planning for those who come later."

Granger said the township plans to use proceeds from the sale to eliminate all wastewater debt, make deposits into pension funds, and implement new tax exemptions.

As part of the deal, Exeter was required to raise the sewer rate before the sale was finalized. The 29% increase, approved in December, went into effect Jan. 1. Pennsylvania American has adopted the current rates.

This sale fell under Pennsylvania's Act 12 statute, which allows municipalities to sell water and wastewater systems for a price based on the fair market value of the facilities.

Pennsylvania American Water plans to invest $3 million in water and wastewater infrastructure improvements in Exeter over the next three years.

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