NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Northampton City Council voted Thursday night, 8 to 1, to prevent private companies from owning the City’s water system.
Privatization wasn’t being considered, but the City wanted to make sure it never would be. Their move comes after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan; high levels of lead were found in the drinking water after the water supply was changed to save money.
Northampton wants to make sure private companies don’t have the chance to try and profit off a basic necessity.
“The cities and towns that have privatized their water have had some really bad results financially and in terms of public health, and we want to prevent that in Northampton by putting this common sense protection in place,” said Northampton City Council Vice President Ryan O’Donnell.
Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz recently raised the City’s water and sewer rates in order to fund $20-million of improvements to the wastewater system, which will include bringing the Wastewater Treatment Facility on Hockanum Road up to code. The new rates go into effect in July.