Ginter sponsors private water, sewer bill

COLUMBUS — State Rep. Tim Ginter co-sponsored a recently passed bill that would expedite efforts to privatize municipal water and sewer operations for communities that choose to do so.

House Bill 422 was approved the last week of February by the Ohio House, with the legislation now moving onto the state Senate.

Ginter’s aide is Mary Kate Chambers, who said communities already have the legal authority to privatize municipal and water operations. “However, in its current form the process is lengthy and the municipal companies have had to close their facilities before the sale was completed. Under this bill the process is quicker and the PUCO’s oversight allows for fair rates to be set by the private company taking over,” she said in an email.

PUCO stands for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Ginter, R-Salem, issued a news release stating that under the bill the PUCO would retain its regulatory authority to decide if the transaction is in the public interest, determine the fair market value of the proposed purchase and monitor the situation afterwards.

“This bill provides a pathway for local municipalities to sell their treatment facilities to a regulated water utility, should they decide to do so, with strong safeguards in place to ensure that the transaction and process is fair and equitable,” he said.