Attention Chester Residents:

 

Chester Water Authority: Providing you clean, affordable public water.

Chester Water Authority (CWA) has one goal. To provide clean water at the most affordable price to its ratepayers. It is a non-profit government authority. It does not have shareholders or other special interests. This public water system is under attack. Aqua (a for-profit water company, now branded as “Essential Utilities”) has been trying to acquire the Chester Water Authority since 2017 (and even earlier) when it brought an unsolicited buyout offer to the CWA board. The CWA board voted unanimously NO to this hostile takeover because there was no benefit to customers and would result in higher rates. Since declining that offer, CWA has saved ratepayers over $180 million in comparison to Aqua’s rates. 

 

Harrisburg: Promises Made, Promises Broken.

Chester City Government has been in financial distress for decades. (Chester has been under Act 47 status for distressed communities since 1995.) When the COVID-19 pandemic put the City into further crisis, Governor Wolf declared a fiscal emergency in the City, with the promise that state funding would be coming to help the City. That money has never arrived.

The mayor of Chester, Thaddeus Kirkland, addressed the Chester community at a council meeting on December 23, 2020 and said this:

Mayor Kirkland: “We did not know that the pandemic was going to wreak the kind of havoc that it’s wreaking, not just in our community, but throughout this world, but it has and it continues to. But when that happened I received a call, factual information. I received a call from the Governor of Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf. And on that call was Secretary Davin, Secretary of DCED. Also, on that call was Director Kim Bracey, and as we begin to talk, they understood that we have been devastated because of the closure of the casino.

 

The casino is a financial lifeline to this community, but the casino had to be shut down. They called and they said, “We want to help, we want to partner, we want to come in and roll up our sleeves and help Chester get back on its financial feet.” That’s what they told me and I was excited. They said, “We want a partner.” And I was excited. And so I welcomed them, we welcomed them with open arms. They said, “Not only are we coming with experience, not only are we coming with technical assistance…” But they mentioned $15 million. $15 million of financial help.

 

These aren’t things you make up or a number that you pull out of the sky. This was the conversation with the Governor of Pennsylvania, Secretary DCED, and Director Bracey, and probably some others on the phone line as well. And so we were excited because they were coming to help and they were coming to partner. Well, something must have happened along the way because partnerships don’t turn into dictatorships. We appreciate partnerships, but right now that’s not what is happening…”

watch his comments in this video (start at 52:42)

The City has now been backed into a corner by Harrisburg and BIG WATER and placed under enormous pressure to sell Chester Water Authority to gain a quick fix to solve the City’s economic problems. The Chester Water Authority is a separate independent government entity and has no need to be sold! It’s up to you to stop this from happening!

Please tell the Harrisburg-appointed Receiver that you do not want your water bills to go up because of a sale of CWA to a private company such as Aqua. Clearly Chester needs financial help from the state, but not through selling this valuable resource. The consequences of a sale will fall squarely on the backs of customers. If Aqua is allowed to purchase the Authority, YOU will pay the purchase price, many times over, through increased water bills, forever.

Stay In Touch.

Please sign up to be kept informed of the latest developments and upcoming events. Email with any questions: savecwa@chesterwater.com

from the Pennsylvania Constitution,
Article I, Section 27:
"The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people."