Wednesday, August 08, 2001

Newport water offer: $17.1M




By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — The Northern Kentucky Water District submitted the highest bid Tuesday for purchase of the Newport water system — more than $5 million higher than the only other bidder, Kentucky American Water.

        If city commissioners vote to accept the offer, Newport water users would not face a proposed 55 percent increase in water rates that officials have said would be necessary for the city to maintain the system and provide maintainance and upgrades.

        NKWD offered a lump sum of $17.1 million, compared with Kentucky American's lump-sum offer of $11.75 million. No other bids were received at city hall by the 3 p.m. Tuesday deadline.

        “We're reviewing the proposals now, and hope to meet with the water advisory board on Thursday,” City Manager Phil Ciafardini said. “We think we can make a recommendation to the City Commission at the Monday regular meeting.”

        He said he expected a favorable review of the NKWD bid and a favorable recommendation to city commissioners.

        The $17.1 million offer is nearly the same as a proposal from the NKWD to buy the Newport system two years ago. That offer, however, was contingent on voter approval and was soundly defeated at the polls.

        State law was changed the following year, eliminating the need to present the sale of a municipal water system to city voters. The city can now decide to sell with a simple majority vote of commissioners.

        “This was a very detailed process, a detailed application, because we wanted to ensure that the bids were the best we could get,” Mr. Ciafardini said. “We only received two bids, but we can say this is certainly the best deal we can get for our system.”

        NKWD president and chief executive Ron Lovan said the district staff “spent a lot of time evaluating our future needs and how Newport would help us face those needs. That's how we came to the figure we presented.”

        He said the proposal included the understanding that the city would retain all existing liabilities and obligations connected to the water system.

        Although no definite liability has been established, the city faces the possibility of paying for damage to Cinergy gas meters throughout Newport as the result of a water main break that pumped water into gas pipes and gas meters last winter. Cinergy officials have said the company's costs could run as high as $5 million.

        Mr. Lovan said the proposal to buy the water system is also contingent upon approval by the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

       



Police task force showing results
Risk, crime record help determine bond
Smug teens get dire warning
Inflated mail counts alleged
Tourist bookings fall sharply
DOE on campus to research violent crime
Early-reading program aims to pair health care, literacy
Job Corps Center move suspended
Oakley man pleads not guilty to killing friend
Police call man serial robber
Policy aims to restrict intimidation
Racial profiling surveys continue
Crews clear streams, creeks
Embezzling reports rise in township
OSHA studying Kenwood mall fumes
Parental help key to success
RADEL: Flood rescue
Tristate A.M. Report
UC programs aim to smooth way to college
Lebanon city council postpones decision on Patrick's job status
Lebanon considers new-home fees
Monroe tax hike on ballot
Farmer admits killing birds with poison corn
Auditor says water quality efforts lag
Boone Co. may fund car test
Conferees ponder how Ky. teachers should be paid
Democrat apologizes to Chao
GameWorks to play on Levee
Kentuckians raising grandkids
Kentucky News Briefs
- Newport water offer: $17.1M
Project moving mussels aside
Volunteers help eastern Ky. with flood cleanup
Water park plan advances