PUC approves sale of East Donegal water supply system Business

The Pennsylvania Public Services Commission on Thursday approved a $ 2.5 million sale from the East Donegal Township Municipal Water Management System to Columbia Water Co.

Under the order, rates will not rise for three years. The PUC said Colombia could raise tariffs as part of its next bid for long-term improvements. The current plan ends at the end of 2022.

The order does not complete the sale, but allows it to move forward. Colombia will have to file a notice with the PUC when the sale is completed.

Colombia sought approval to acquire the East Donegal system and to begin servicing 1,500 power customers. About $ 250,000 will come from the Colombian General Fund, the rest will be funded.

The sale includes three raised water tanks, including a very notable pair of water towers in Maytown, East Jacob Street and Endslow Road. One contains 100,000 gallons; the second contains 300,000 gallons. The third tower contains 500,000 gallons.

Other assets that pass into the hands include two groundwater wells and a spring, a Glatfelter spring, a pumping house, plumbing, sewage treatment plants, water quality testing equipment, five plots of land, office equipment, pipe placement equipment, 130 fire hydrants and 500 buried valves.

The order noted that Columbia Water intends to repair assets that require immediate repair or replacement at an estimated cost of $ 1,258,000 within the first 10 years after acquisition. Painting and upgrading the safety of the largest water tank is estimated at $ 725,000.

Colombia said it also plans to replace all water meters for customers within the same 10-year period. Colombia told PUC that the improvement will be funded by revenue generated from the operation of the East Donegal system and borrowed funds, which may include finding a PENNVEST loan.

In its application for approval, PUC Columbia Water indicated that the city authorities do not have full-time staff. Most likely, the government relies on third-party operators to manage the water supply system, and these operators “have expressed their intention to retire.” These retirements sparked the sale of Columbia Water.

Columbia Water serves approximately 10,528 customers in the Columbia, Marietta and Mountville areas, as well as in the towns of Manor, East Donegal, West Hamfield and Rafa, all in Lancaster County and parts of Hell in York County.

The East Donegal government has about 1,556 customers in the service area in East Donegal township, including 1,529 residential, 20 commercial and seven industrial and agricultural, according to PUC documents.

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