Awards: Elizabeth, N.J. Earns USCM Award

American Water announced recently that the city of Elizabeth, N.J.?s water and wastewater systems, operated by American Water, earned the 2012 Outstanding Public/Private Partnership Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. This award honors the outstanding achievements made possible through the combined effort of cities and the members of the Mayors Business Council and covers a broad spectrum of services and activities. American Water and the city of Elizabeth were honored for the positive results of a public-private partnership and significant improvements to the city?s water and wastewater systems.

?American Water is truly honored to receive such a prestigious award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and we share this honor with our colleagues from the city of Elizabeth,? said Jeff Sterba, president and CEO of American Water. ?This unique partnership illustrates how public-private partnerships can help communities tackle an infrastructure challenge while maximizing efficiency and value.?

In response to upgrading the city?s 100 year-old water infrastructure and a wastewater system that was nearly 150 years old, the city of Elizabeth entered into two long-term contracts with American Water to maintain and operate the city?s water and wastewater systems. In 1998, after considering many possible solutions in the realm of public-private partnerships, the city selected a unique 40-year concession contract with American Water?s market-based subsidiary (a division that was then-named Liberty Water Company) to operate and maintain the water system. A few years later, the city entered into a separate 20-year operation and maintenance contract with American Water for the sewer system.

Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage added, ?Both contracts have provided multiple benefits to the city and its residents. Beyond the financial benefits to the city, this public-private partnership has allowed the administration to focus its attention on other priorities in our ongoing commitment to Elizabeth?s future.?

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