Mexico Voters Keep Sewers Public
"There were a certain number [of people] that just didn't want to see change and didn't really want to see a private company operate it," said City Manager Tanna Parish.
Missouri American Water offered Mexico $5 million for the sewer plant, and promised not to raise rates for three years. The company also would have paid property taxes, which would have helped local schools. Now, that plan is down the drain.
"In the short run, I think, the city would have been fine in keeping the system," said City Council member Ron Loesch. "But, in the long run, I have the belief that private industry could probably do it better over the long term."
Loesch also said lack of opposition against the proposed sale before the April 4 vote surprised him.
Stricter environmental regulations take effect at the Mexico plant in 2009, which means residents will have to pay for expensive upgrades to the sewer system.