Southwest Idaho city wants to buy private water company


Officials in the southwestern Idaho city of Eagle want to spend $6.3 million to purchase the privately-owned Eagle Water Co.

Dave Milan, Eagle’s director of public works, said the fast-growing city wants to buy the company to provide better service for existing customers and other projects that are already planned.

“The city of Eagle is infilling,” he said. “Areas that we’re annexing won’t be connected to this water system.”

The city has not decided how it would pay for the water company, but a bond is one method, Milan said.

Rural water companies are often bought by larger private companies, said Gene Fadness, spokesman for the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, but it’s uncommon for municipalities in Idaho to buy water companies.

By purchasing the water company, the city could better manage water resources, Milan said.

“In the long run, it will be better,” said Robert DeShazo Jr., who founded Eagle Water Co. about 35 years ago. “They have some advantages with financing and they basically are in control of the real estate that’s out there. Give them the handle, and they can proceed on.”

Eagle Water Co. has about 3,400 customers, and Milan said combining it with the city’s water system will make the city’s water supply safer and more reliable.


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