“The taxpayers and residents of Lehigh County deserve to know exactly what we’re getting into, how it’s going to affect their rates,” said Schware.
The East Penn Chamber of Commerce passed a motion recommending a charter extension be granted to LCA so it can continue to participate in the Allentown water/sewer lease process, said Kevin Baker, president of that chamber. He told commissioners East Penn businesses and communities deserve to a bid “in the non-profit model” to be presented by LCA.
Allentown’s final request for proposals was supposed to be sent to LCA and five other potential bidders on Monday, according to city officials, but it still had not been posted on the city’s website by Wednesday night’s commissioners meeting.
“We don’t even know what’s in that yet,” said Arndt. To be ready to submit a bid, he indicated LCA must continue working on the assumption it will get approval from commissioners.
Ott expressed skepticism about why the city’s final request for proposals still had not been released. He said it’s almost comical how little information commissioners are getting about such a big decision.
Schware agreed and said everyone is operating on an artificial time frame established by Allentown and its mayor. “They need to change that,” he said. “They need us more than we need them. They’re the ones that need the money for their pension system.”
He said the city’s multi million dollar pension problem, which is what Allentown hopes to solve by leasing the sewer water and sewer systems for around $200 million, was created by “rushing” and he doesn’t want that mistake to be made again.