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Politics & Government

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Management Contracted Out

The Board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) selected Veolia Water North America to provide Executive Management services to the Authority for twelve months with a possible six-month extension.

Jim Good will serve as the PWSA's Executive Director and fill the 18-month vacancy left by the resignation of Michael Kenney in 2010. Another Veolia executive, Doug Amos, will serve as Study Manager for PWSA.

Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd, a PWSA board member, said job descriptions for Good and Amos are still being negotiated.

"The point is that they will be providing services not just as Executive Director and Study Manager, but also expertise up and down the organization, plugging in with our folks to really understand the operation and then work with our team to develop the ideas that our team has for improvement of the operation," Dowd said.

Dowd said there are several reasons that the Board contracted for management instead of hiring from within to fill the vacancy.

"We have a strong, capable team at PWSA. It's not that we think otherwise," Dowd said. "We do believe we have a good work team there, but we want to try to strengthen the Authority from within [and] we want to provide some opportunities for our people to expand their capacity and grow in their knowledge and area and expertise."

Veolia Water is currently treating over 2.6 billion gallons of water and wastewater each day across the nation. The company has been involved with similar projects in Buffalo, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and New York City.

Dowd stressed that this contract is not an attempt to privatize the PWSA.

"This is, in fact, the exact opposite," Dowd said. "This is an attempt to boost the capacity of this Authority so that it is not ripe for takeover by a private company."