07/20/2011

WG4: February 24, 2011 Minutes

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Water Infrastructure Finance Commission
Working Group Four

Approved minutes: February 24, 2011

9:45 in Room 511 State House

In a meeting duly posted, Working Group Four convened at approximately 9:45 in Room 511 at the State House.

Members Attending:  Martin Pillsbury, Peter Shelley, Bruce Tobey, Tom Tilas, Dave Riedell,

Also attending:  Brendan Jarboe,  Leah Robins, Bob Ceolik, Kathryn Szewczyk, Mike Famighetta,  both from Babson.

Mr. Tilas introduced John Betkowski, Vice Chairman of the Connecticut Department of Public Utilities, who joined the meeting via conference call.

He engaged in a conversation with the Working Group about private water companies, the role they play in delivering water to customers in Connecticut,  how investments in infrastructure are paid for, and how to encourage these companies to use best practices.

In Massachusetts, private water companies play a relatively small role, but in Connecticut, approximately 40% of customers are served by private companies.  The process of rates, financing investments, and many other issues unfold quite differently for private companies, which are regulated by the DPU.   Rates are set, and the DPU can use a combination of carrots and sticks to encourage best practices.

In general, municipal water companies don’t pay taxes, have higher rates, and have assets that are less well maintained.

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