A sale of Falls Church Water to Fairfax Water could happen after all.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the City of Falls Church released a statement discussing a meeting between the two water companies to mediate over terms for a possible sale. Magistrate Judge Theresa Carroll Buchanan set the mediation for Nov. 8.
“This is a good-faith effort by the city to continue our long history of regional cooperation,” Vice Mayor David Snyder in the release. “The City will enter mediation in the best interests of its water customers, taxpayers, and utility employees.”
After months of trying to sell the water company, in August the city announced they would continue operating Falls Church Water. In April, the city set a minimum bid to buy the 80-year-old system at $44 million. The city received nine inquiries from other water companies to buy the system including one from Fairfax Water.
According to the statement, mediation was not mandated by the court, but rather mutually agreed upon by all parties prior to requesting a mediator. City officials met with Fairfax County and Fairfax Water in July to discuss a possible sale of the system. The parties did not agree on the terms of sale and the negotiations ended in early August.
“Our goal is to find a mutually acceptable resolution that recognizes the City’s investments in its Water Utility assets that have provided safe, dependable drinking water for more than 80 years,” council member Ira Kaylin said in the statement.