Senator McCoy's statement regarding Des Moines Water Works
"One of the issues that I’ve been passionately engaged in this legislative session is the effort to dismantle the Des Moines Water Works. I was pleased to see the Des Moines Neighbors take an affirmative position to oppose this radical, ill-conceived taking of a city entity that belongs to the taxpayers in the city of Des Moines. I am profoundly disappointed that the city council has registered in support of this measure despite overwhelming public opposition to this bill. The Des Moines Water Works belongs to the taxpayers of Des Moines and has operated as a publicly owned city utility since 1919. The taxpayers built, borrowed, and bonded to create the Des Moines Water Works. It belongs to them and any effort to take this authority and reorganize it constitutes an illegal transfer and violates of the rights of the Des Moines taxpayers.
I believe that Representative Jared Klein, the original author of HF 316 is working in conjunction with the Farm Bureau and members of the Des Moines City Council to punish and oust Bill Stowe as CEO and General Manager of the Water Works for filing the lawsuit to mitigate damages from high nitrate levels from farms that are entering the Raccoon River Watershed.
It’s disappointing to me that some members of the city council are failing to represent the best interests of the citizens of Des Moines. I pledge my support to do all I can to defeat this measure and to ensure that the Des Moines Water Works remains a city owned franchise."
State Senator District 21
Below is the General Resolution
Des Moines Neighbors
General Resolution 2017-01
WHEREAS Des Moines Neighbors is established as the umbrella organization for the neighborhood associations in the City of Des Moines;
WHEREAS the safety of our drinking water and the health of our residents is a primary concern for the neighborhood associations of Des Moines;
RECOGNIZING that Des Moines Water Works is a public utility that delivers quality water to approximately 500,000 people in the Greater Des Moines area;
RECOGNIZING that Des Moines Water Works is the largest water utility in Iowa, among the largest 100 utilities in the United States, and was recognized as having the highest quality drinking water in the country in 2008;
RECOGNIZING that Des Moines Water Works was founded in 1871 and has thrived under its current legal structure since 1919;
RECOGNIZING that water utility boards were set up under the current legal structure specifically to protect a public health necessity from political influence;
RECOGNIZING that the proceeds from water rates paid by taxpayers is currently reinvested in the water system, including $3 million in capital improvements in water main replacement projects in the City of Des Moines this year alone;
RECOGNIZING that these proceeds could be funneled away from capital improvements to the general funds of any cities taking the Des Moines Water Works under their control;
RECOGNIZING that taking on assets and responsibilities for economic purposes is reflective of the state government interference that created the public health water crisis in Flint, Michigan;
RECOGNIZING that the individuals elected by the residents of the City of Des Moines to represent us in the Iowa General Assembly were not consulted by the City of Des Moines until after the City of Des Moines had already decided to support state legislation altering the management and control of Des Moines Water Works:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Des Moines Neighbors firmly opposes any state legislation altering the management or control of Des Moines Water Works;
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Des Moines Neighbors calls on our state, county, and city officials to oppose any state legislation altering the management or control of Des Moines Water Works.
Passed unanimously by the General Membership on March 9, 2017.