ATLANTIC CITY — The city will make a “major announcement” Monday on the future of the Municipal Utilities Authority.
Mayor Don Guardian, City Council President Marty Small, MUA Executive Director Bruce Ward and other officials will host an 11 a.m. news conference at the authority. A news release said the announcement is “regarding the future of the MUA,” but had no other details.
The authority, which provides the city’s drinking water, is financially independent of the city, deriving nearly all of its revenue from ratepayers. City and state officials have considered dissolving, leasing or selling the water system to raise money for the broke city.
The city and authority formed a joint committee last month to explore the MUA’s future. Guardian, who long supported dissolving the authority to make it a city department, has recently said the authority can stay independent if it can make more money for the city.
A $73 million state loan agreement made the authority’s assets collateral and required the city to adopt an ordinance by Sept. 15 that authorized its dissolution .The city missed that deadline, and the state notified the city that it has until Oct. 3 to correct the violation. The state could demand immediate repayment of the loan, seize collateral or withhold state if the city misses next week’s deadline.
The loan was part of a bill that gave the city until Nov. 3 to submit a five-year fiscal recovery plan to the state. The plan’s rejection would result in a five-year state takeover of the city’s finances and major decision-making powers.