Neosho city leaders are negotiating a possible deal to contract out for water and wastewater treatment services.


Neosho city leaders are negotiating a possible deal to contract out for water and wastewater treatment services.
City council Thursday heard a presentation in a special session from Alliance Water Resources of the Columbia firm’s qualifications for water/wastewater management systems.
Alliance approached the city with a proposal to manage the city’s water and sewer systems last year when long-time public works superintendent Mike Hightower retired, but City Manager Troy Royer said administration didn’t feel then it was in its best interest to make the move.
Duane Lynch was promoted to head the water/wastewater department. Lynch recently went to work for City Utilities in Springfield, so Alliance again approached the city, with discussions ongoing for a month, Royer said.
Company officials came to Neosho to inspect the systems, with a price quoted last week to take over management of the systems, he said. The company explained its operations and answered questions at Thursday’s meeting. Council moved into closed session to discuss a contract and will begin negotiations.
“They wouldn’t own the utility. The city would still own the facility. They just would manage it for us,” Royer explained. “One advantage would be to have a larger group that manages quite a few utilities. The majority of the utilities they manage are in Missouri. They do manage a couple of facilities up in Iowa and do another facility down in Tennessee, but they do a large amount of smaller cities and public water districts here in Missouri.”
With the company’s knowledge, Royer said, it would provide another set of eyes look at the city’s system and see what it needs to make it system more efficient.
If a problem were to arise, he said, the local Alliance official assigned to Neosho would have resources to utilize the knowledge of many professionals on staff “to come up with solutions or think outside the box and just having that vast knowledge and experience with the people they have. Some of their people have been there 30-plus years.”
Many on the staff, Royer said, were water/wastewater operators or managers before joining Alliance.
Royer expects a negotiated contract to go before city council for possible approval at its Sept. 15 meeting.