The Borough of New Cumberland recently signed an agreement to sell its sewer system to Pennsylvania American Water.

The deal is reportedly for $23 million.  Per The Patriot News:

The sale will eliminate $16 million in debt the borough has. Pa. American Water also agreed to invest $2 million in wastewater and other improvements in New Cumberland over the next five years.

Leaving aside the question of whether the Borough violated Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law when it voted to approve the sale, did the Borough leave money on the table by fast-tracking a sale to PAWC? At least one other interested party thinks so:

Tom Rafferty, of Aqua, said that Aqua would have surpassed the bid the council accepted from Pennsylvania American Water, if the council offered an extension for the bidding process.

It was reported that the bidding period set by the Borough was only one month. At least one other interested party, Capital Region Water, the municipal authority responsible for delivering water and wastewater service primarily in the City of Harrisburg, also expressed concern about the short time-frame for bidding.

While $23 million sounds great, $25 million (or $27 million, or $29 million, etc.) is better. Unfortunately for the residents of New Cumberland, after a fast-tracked bidding process that failed to give adequate time for true competition in the bids, they’ll never know just how much the Borough left on the table with PAWC.