Partnership focuses on customer service improvements
In a competitive procurement, the city of Buffalo, N.Y., has selected Veolia Water North America to manage and operate the city’s water system under a 10-year public-private partnership that will serve approximately 280,000 people.
Valued at approximately $53 million, the contract includes managing, operating and maintaining the city’s water treatment facilities and distribution system, as well as all customer service components. Buffalo’s water distribution system includes a 160 million-gal-per-day water treatment facility, 785 miles of pipe, more than 12,000 valves and 7,430 fire hydrants.
Veolia Water will manage approximately 117 city of Buffalo employees who will remain city employees. The city of Buffalo will continue to own all water assets and maintain rate-setting authority.
“We will be introducing new programs and new performance metrics to ensure improvements in customer service,” said Keavin Nelson, executive vice president of Veolia Water North America’s East Region. “Included in our commitment are improvements in Call Center operations, investment in customer service software, the creation of a new Underground Asset Management program and development of a new comprehensive maintenance program to drive a higher level of service to Buffalo residents. In all, 20 performance metrics will help determine our performance and accountability. We are very excited to have the opportunity to serve the people of Buffalo.”
Service improvements will be phased in during the first year of the contract.