ALTON — Illinois American Water agreed on Friday to buy Alton’s regional wastewater system, and approval will now be sought from the state.
The total value of the proposed transaction is approximately $53.8 million, subject to certain adjustments provided in the agreement.
The agreement follows Wednesday night’s vote (7-1) by the Alton City Council in favor of Illinois American Water purchasing the regional wastewater system.
“I believe this transaction, approved by our council, is in the best interests of our city, now and in the future,” said Alton Mayor Brant Walker. “It allows us significant net proceeds to help fund other city needs and priorities. It also puts our wastewater system and its ongoing needs in professional hands with Illinois American Water, a company that is familiar with Alton and its residents.”
Walker added a key component of the deal is Illinois American Water’s commitment to continued employment for current city wastewater employees. There will be continued employment in current roles for all existing city employees as well as training, career advancement and professional development opportunities.
The Alton wastewater system serves approximately 23,000 customers, including customers in the nearby communities Bethalto and Godfrey.
Illinois American Water has owned, operated and maintained the water system serving Alton for the past 140 years.
“Illinois American Water appreciates the continued confidence the Alton City Council has shown in us by accepting our proposal,” said Karen Cooper, senior manager, Illinois American Water. “Illinois American Water is part of the Alton community. We have been providing water service here for more than 140 years. We are excited about the potential of broadening our partnership with the city to include wastewater. Alton has a proud history and tradition and a bright future. We look forward to our continued partnership.”
Illinois American Water and the city of Alton will seek approval of the acquisition from the Illinois Commerce Commission. Following approval, the deal could close in the first quarter of 2019.
Cooper said Illinois American Water is committed to making capital improvements to the infrastructure of the wastewater system, including upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment facility, pump station improvements, and completion of requirements set forth in the city’s long-term control plan included in Alton’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.
Bruce Hauk, president, Illinois American Water, said the company is committed to continued growth and economic development in the River Bend region, which includes Alton. A recent study by the University of Illinois said the sale of the wastewater system assets to Illinois American Water would mean $65.8 million overall economic impact in Alton in the first five years.
“This is an exciting acquisition for Illinois American Water and our team of employees in Alton and throughout the state of Illinois,” said Hauk.