NGN has always assisted our government clients in their interaction with water and wastewater utilities owned by individuals or corporations. Throughout Florida, residents and businesses often pay higher rates to private utility owners than their neighbors pay to county and city water and wastewater providers. In too many cases, the customers served by these privately owned utilities also suffer from inadequate or even antagonistic customer service.
In the early 2000s, NGN assisted our local government clients in forming the Florida Governmental Utility Authority, often called the “FGUA.” Since the FGUA was established, dozens of counties and cities have either become members or otherwise participated in FGUA efforts to bring private utilities into public hands. Florida Water Services Corporation (formerly known as Southern States Utilities), Florida Cities Water Company, Poinciana Utilities, Inc., Aloha Utilities, Inc. and other private utilities have been purchased by the FGUA and either have been transitioned into city or county ownership or remain under FGUA control.
Most recently, NGN assisted the FGUA in purchasing most of the utility systems owned by Aqua Utilities Florida, Inc. located in ten Florida counties. NGN continues to represent Sarasota County in its negotiations for the purchase of the Aqua utility system located there, known as Dolomite Utilities Corp., and has provided assistance to DeSoto County in its purchase of Aqua’s Lake Suzy Utilities system.
These purchases over the past decade have significantly reduced the number of private utilities operating in Florida. Based upon a recent customer service opinion survey conducted by the FGUA, customers are far more pleased with service from a governmental entity like the FGUA than service previously provided by private owners.