Privatization hits roadblock

Source: Russ Olivo, Woonsocket Call, January 28, 2013

The Budget Commission has refused to let the city’s plan to privatize a new water treatment plant move forward after hearing from a well-organized band of opponents at its last meeting. But Mayor Leo T. Fontaine, a member of the commission and one of the staunchest advocates of privatization, says the panel could revisit the issue as early as Feb. 5. At issue is whether the city should ask outside engineers to develop bid specifications for the $50 million proposal based on the premise that the new water plant will be designed, built and operated by one for-profit firm. The plant would be owned by the city, but the same company that builds it would also be offered a contract to operate it with its own employees for 20 years….