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Non-City Customers Hope Falls Church Water Sells

Fairfax County residents hope city residents vote in favor of 2013 referendum to sell Falls Church Water.

Dick Rosenbaum is hopeful city residents will vote on a November 2013 referendum that would complete the transaction of selling Falls Church Water to Fairfax Water.

As a McLean-area resident, Rosenbaum has been a Falls Church Water customer for some time and felt he was being charged too much for the service. Rosenbaum said he has written City Manager Wyatt Shields in the past about the prices the water company charged. He says it wasn’t the prices that were his biggest problem.

“It troubled me that the money I paid went to supporting the City of Falls Church government,” Rosenbaum said. “When we found out they were transferring money from the water department to the city’s general fund, that upset me.”

Others have voiced their optimism online that the water system will be sold. The sale of the water system to Fairfax Water rests on the shoulders of city residents who have to vote on a referendum next November in accordance with the city’s charter. Shields presented some of the terms of the deal between the city and Fairfax Water. He said the city agreed to sell the water company for $40 million, $4 million less than the initial minimum bid set in April. Fairfax Water has said they will promise employment to current Falls Church Water employees for up to three years.

Over the years Rosenbaum said Fairfax County residents who receive their water services from Falls Church Water have supported the city with no benefit. If the water system were sold, over the next two years Fairfax Water would make sure old Falls Church Water customers would see lower rates.

According to a graph on the Fairfax Water website, their customers pay $60.19 per 24,000 gallons over a three-month period. Falls Church Water customers, according to the same chart, are paying $86.55 for the same services.

“If Falls Church Water wanted to charge city residents extra I don’t have a problem with that,” Rosenbaum said. “I may not be here in two years.”

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