City of Falls Church Suspends Sale of Water Utility Until Further Notice

Tonight, the City of Falls Church announce the suspension of its bid process for the sale of its water system until further notice. Tomorrow at 10 a.m., the City was prepared to receive bids for the sale of the system in a public meeting at City Hall. This will not now occur, based on a legal opinion received late today from counsel for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the sale of the system cannot be made to a private entity.

The City’s statement tonight is as follows: “On March 8, 2012, the Office of Legal Counsel of the Headquarters U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (HQUSACE), provided a written opinion affirming that the Washington Aqueduct was authorized to sell water to an investor-owned or governmental water system. The City relied on this written determination in moving forward with an open, fair, and competitive bid process for the sale of its water system. It is unfortunate that the Army Corps has apparently reversed itself just before bids were due. In light of this, the City will suspend, until further notice, the bid opening and auction originally scheduled for Friday, May 25.