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The case for private ownership of water systems was strengthened today in Pekin, Illinois when the Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District, upheld the Illinois Commerce Commission's (ICC) decision that the continued ownership of the water system in Pekin by Illinois American Water was in the public's best interest.
"Illinois American Water is hopeful the City of Pekin will end this five-year debate and work together to continue to provide high quality, reliable water service to the citizens of Pekin," Terry Gloriod, president, Illinois American Water, said.
The City of Pekin could choose to appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court. "Our hope is that the leaders of Pekin will end this effort now, save the taxpayers' money in legal fees and embrace a partnership for the future," said Gloriod.
The Appellate Court's ruling rejects the city of Pekin's assertion that government ownership is in the best interest of water customers and upholds the 2004 ruling by the ICC that supported Illinois American Water.
"This is a significant development for Pekin, Illinois but it also speaks volumes about the value and contributions of privately owned and operated water systems in the United States," Gloriod said. "The court found that the ICC did the right thing when it rejected the City of Pekin's request for permission to takeover our system."
In May 2002, the City of Pekin petitioned the Illinois Commerce Commission for approval to condemn Illinois American Water's Pekin District, which has served Pekin for more than 20 years. The district includes the city of Pekin as well as parts of the adjoining townships of Groveland, Pekin, Cincinnati and Oak Grove. In January 2004, the ICC ruled in the company's favor.
Illinois American Water serves more than one million people in 125 communities. Providing quality water services for more than a century, Illinois American Water is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Water.
With a history of over 100 years, American Water provides high quality water, wastewater, and other related services to over 18 million people in 29 states and three Canadian provinces. American Water is part of RWE Thames Water, the third largest water and wastewater services company in the world.