Lehigh County Authority Leasing Allentown Water Clearly Better for Suburbs Than a Private Corporation

What Lisa Scheller, and probably the other teas, do not seem to realize is that if a private water corporation wins the bid to lease Allentown’s water, suburban water rates are more likely to go up than if Lehigh County Authority leases the water.

The rates are probably going up no matter what Allentown does, but with the LCA option suburban voters have at least some indirect political control over the situation, since their elected officials have the power of appointment over LCA.

If a private corporation leases the water, they can raise rates on LCA customers all they want and folks can’t do shit about it.

Rather than thinking through the actual policy issues though, you see Lisa Scheller and the tea people hazily trying to apply Washington tea thought to this question. LCA buying the water assets, which in turn pays off Allentown’s pension debt, is kinda sorta like a BAILOUT if you think about it for under two seconds. And also, too, cities vs. suburbs amirite? That’s one of the biggest problems with the Lehigh County slate. Everything they do has to be well-grounded in national Republican ideology. There’s no serious effort to actually understand the municipal issue set.



  1. Not that I’m defending the overall logic, but the lease is nothing like a bailout. LCA will be able to fairly assess an asset–which includes an income component–and make a bid based on the best interest of the company. Allentown gets money, but it loses both the asset (for the lease period) and the income provided.

    Allentown benefits by having the LCA in the process because it is a genuine contender to get the lease, but Allentown will give about 1% of its overall consideration to the interests of city or county water customers

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Exactly. What Allentown does with the money matters not at all to LCA ratepayers or County voters. They are exchanging money for an asset.

  2. Ha. Didn’t catch the original sarcasm!

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