French company pitches to take control of Baltimore’s water system, lobbyists join push

In recent weeks, lobbyists have been pitching Baltimore officials on a plan for French company Suez Environment to take operating control the city’s water system, several City Council members say.

Original article by: Luke Broadwater
The Baltimore Sun, December 19th, 2017

The council members say lobbyists from the company have been meeting with influential people inside and outside of City Hall, arguing that private control of water billing and infrastructure will lower city debt.

According to the pitch, Suez — a descendant of the company that built Egypt’s Suez Canal — would pay the city upfront to take control of operating Baltimore’s water system and then collect the money charged from water bills. The company would hire current Department of Public Works employees, honor union contracts, and pledge to raise water rates only minimally.

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