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Providence Water Supply Board to begin looking at potential financial impacts of Providence’s efforts to lease water operations

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“The city of Providence has issued an RFQ, a request for qualifications for a private operator to manage the operations of Providence Water,” said Xaykham Khamsyvoravong, Chair of the Providence Water Supply Board toward the end of meeting Wednesday evening. The Water Board, continued Khamsyvoravong has had no involvement in the issuance of the RFQ and, “At this time there is no position being requested by this board.”


See: Providence seeking bidders in January for leasing the city’s water


“Our interests are squarely on the behalf of ratepayers at this point in time, which of course includes many residents of Providence” continued Khamsyvoravong. “Our ability to continue to operate this utility in their best interest is what I think this board is tasked and focused with.

“In my limited experience dealing in the financial space, there are certain implications that can arise from these types of conversations,” said Khamsyvoravong to the Board’s legal advisor, William O’Gara, asking the attorney to look into whether or not there are any tax implications or any issues under our existing indenture in regard to the RFQ that has been issued by the City.

“It has been raised that this could potentially impact our ability to borrow from the State Infrastructure Bank, it could potentially impact our current, existing outstanding debt and I just want to make sure that as the City pursues what the City needs to under the Mayor’s directive that this board at least will continues to operate and meet the expectations of ratepayers while also serving the City itself.”


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Khamsyvoravong has asked the City to send a representative to the next meeting of the Water Board to inform the Board as to their intentions.

At this time the Providence Water Supply Board does not expect to take a position on the City’s plans to lease the City’s water supply to a private operator as part of a public-private partnership.

Here’s the entire Providence Water Supply Board meeting:


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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade. Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential reading. atomicsteve@gmail.com