IOWA PARTNERSHIP FOR CLEAN WATER PRAISES EFFORTS TO INCREASE COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION AND VOICE ON WATER UTILITY BOARD

April 27, 2016

Bill Would Require Representation from Communities Served by Des Moines Water Works

DES MOINES, Iowa, April 27, 2016 – Iowa Partnership for Clean Water (IPCW) is encouraged by movement from the Iowa House of Representatives to ensure representation on the water utility board for all communities served by the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW).

The bill (HF 2459), which passed in the House on Tuesday, April 26, is an essential step toward balancing the utility board, and giving a voice to the thousands of suburban and rural citizens who currently are currently DMWW ratepayers. The specific formula for board representation would be based on community populations, and would involve mayors and county officials appointing appropriate representatives.

Earlier in April, IPCW hosted a discussion regarding the feasibility of a regional utility and the decisions needed to adequately serve Central Iowa communities. This conversation made clear that residents of the Des Moines metro area and surrounding rural and suburban communities have not been afforded significant input into governance or decision-making, despite the increasingly regional nature of DMWW’s service. There is a clear hunger in the community to move toward a collaborative and representative utility model, this bill reflects that sentiment.

The bill will now head to a joint conference committee to be finalized, before making its way to Governor Branstad for approval. Iowa Partnership for Clean Water commends state representatives for hearing the concerns of Central Iowa ratepayers, and supporting this effort to improve community representation.

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