Gov’t considers water authority lease offers

The
Cayman Islands government has received multiple expressions of interest – and at
least one concrete proposal – for a private lease agreement involving the Water
Authority, Cayman.

The
water authority is one of two entities that supply water to Cayman Islands
residents; the other is a private company called Consolidated Water.

Although
officials with the ruling United Democratic Party did not specify where the
offer to lease the water authority facilities came from, it is understood that
Consolidated Water made the initial move.

“We
received an unsolicited offer,” West Bay MLA Cline Glidden, Jr. said Monday. “Since
then, we’ve had interest expressed and been told of other offers forthcoming,
but we haven’t received those offers yet.”

Mr.
Glidden said the arrangement, generally speaking, would be for an up-front cash
payment followed by an annual payment for the rights to operate water authority
facilities and serve their customers. Currently, Consolidated Water provides
service in the West Bay and Seven Mile Beach area of Grand Cayman and the water
authority covers the rest of the Island. Such a lease agreement would expand
Consolidated Water’s operations considerably.

However,
Mr. Glidden said the government has not decided anything at the moment. He said
officials have contracted the services of a major accounting firm to study the
initial proposal to see if it makes financial sense for government.

If
it does, he said government would open a request for proposal process where all
interested parties could bid to lease the entity for a specified period –
possibly 25 years.

In
no circumstances would the government consider the outright sale of the water authority,
Mr. Glidden said.

Read
more about this story in this week’s editions of the Caymanian Compass…

 

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