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Sewage dispute nearly settled with 10-year contract

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Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer announced a 10-year contract to settle a sewage treatment dispute between the two governments. The agreement will establish regulations for the city of Wilmington to process county sewage at the wastewater treatment plant on East 12th Street and Hay Road in Wilmington.

The contract, which now goes to the respective legislative councils of both governments for review and approval, marks the first time in 19 years that the two governments have agreed on a wastewater treatment contract.

Mayor Purzycki and County Executive Meyer announced late last year that they had been meeting in person and by phone to seek a breakthrough in the dispute, which had eluded previous administrations. Law and public works representatives from both governments have spent the past few months ironing out the details of the highly technical agreement.

“I am grateful to County Executive Meyer for his personal engagement on an issue that has defied resolution for far too long,” Mayor Purzycki said in a statement. “Neither of us wanted this to go on any longer and we knew it was better for the residents and businesses served by both governments that the matter be settled.”

“I am thankful for the time and consideration Mayor Purzycki gave to resolving this issue,” County Executive Meyer said in a statement. “The agreement we came to is fair and equitable for both city and county residents and likely saved millions of dollars of legal fees that would have come from the sewer fees paid by residents across the County.”

Mayor Purzycki and County Executive Meyer exclaim the agreement represents a fair allocation of costs and responsibilities between the governments and should pass the test of time, preventing further disputes. The new contract sets a date for the governments to discuss a new contract. The agreement also establishes a wastewater treatment committee comprised of city and county government representatives who will regularly share information regarding wastewater system operations, planning, capital expenditures, finances, regulatory compliance, and other relevant information.

Both the Wilmington City Council and New Castle County Council must approve the new agreement to become effective.

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