The City Council voted to sell its water system in April of 2013. During public hearings, Mayor Scott Silverthorne said that, while maintaining its own water services has been a point of "civic pride and emotional attachment" for the city, the City would undoubtedly have faced challenges and rate hikes if it had continued to operate its own system.
The sale of the system to Fairfax Water is expected to bring about reduced water rates for city customers within three years—going down from the current average rate of $4.61 per 1,000 gallons used to around $2.51.
Had the city continued to maintain its own system, due to system upgrades the City would soon have been forced to make by the federal government, and due to the loss of the city's Loudoun County customers once the county finishes building its own plant, city customers would likely have been paying double what Fairfax Water customers pay within a short amount of time, the City said in April.
"This is a win-win for all parties," Silverthorne said in a statement Friday. "City residents will continue to receive plentiful, high-quality water plus lower rates for water in the future."
"In the final analysis, we had to give first consideration to an opportunity that would save our residents money in the near and long-term," he said of the decision.
The City also said Fairfax Water has been generous in guaranteeing jobs for all City of Fairfax water employees.
"Fairfax Water is pleased to welcome the customers of the City of Fairfax service area to our family of 1.7 million Northern Virginians who receive water service from Fairfax Water," said Philip W. Allin, the chairman of Fairfax Water. "We look forward to continuing our history of providing exceptional service, quality and reliability to our customers."
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