O’Fallon considers plan to privatize city water, sewer

O’FALLON, Ill. (AP) — A growing southwestern Illinois bedroom community is considering leasing the city’s water and sewer systems to a private company to generate money for citywide improvements. Voters in the St. Louis suburb of O’Fallon will consider dueling, non-binding ballot measures on the topic in the April 7 municipal election. One was written by city officials who support leasing the city-owned water and sewer systems to one of three interested private companies. The other was crafted by opponents of the city plan and asks voters to also consider a possible sale. O’Fallon Mayor Gary Graham tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that a 40-year lease agreement could generate $50 million for the city of 30,000 and could stave off property tax hikes. Opponents say a lease would lead to higher utility bills.