Aqua Pennsylvania and Chester Water are apparently not playing nicely together. According to the Daily Local News, Aqua PA has filed suit against CWA over their agreement with the city of Chester. Because Aqua has an existing agreement with CWA which constitutes four system connections, any rate change that is approved trickles downstream, literally. (pardon the pun)
Marc Lucca, President of Aqua Pennsylvania has expressed his serious concerns over the 10% rate hike due to a settlement with the city of Chester which tops off over $60 million dollars. The trickle is actually an understatement. This action produces approximately $75,000 of additional pass-through costs to current Aqua customers with no perks whatsoever.
Aqua has already begun efforts to build their own pipelines in Ridley Township and Nether Providence, putting CWA on notice that they’re terminating their contracts for those municipalities.
Can this partnership be mended back together? According to Mr. Lucca, these irresponsible rate hikes are causing huge trust issues. Because CWA is not governed by PUC, they have the capacity to bump up their rates whenever they feel like it. We’ll see what the Delaware County Common Pleas Court ruling determines.
(References: Daily Local News ~ dailylocal.com)
The Delaware County 58 acre property known as the Granite Run Mall is experiencing some drastic changes as of late. The 39 year old JCPenney store announced its closing plans in January. This was one of 40 closings scheduled across the US. Under-performance is said to be the root cause of this array of retail cessations. This “old school” mall is not finished yet. BET Investments, the current owner based in Horsham, PA has big plans for a re-do. It is said that there is a heavily funded plan to convert the antiquated building into an opulent mixed-use town center. (This does seem to be trending, doesn’t it?) This lifestyle center concept is encountering extensive popularity. This adaptation by the retail development industry is a conspicuous sign that the way consumer mentality and preference is drastically changing. Formerly a convenience to be savored by mainly 55+ active adult communities, the mixed use lifestyle centers are drawing in the young professionals and families alike. Boutique-type shopping in lieu of the big box and mega-department stores, open courtyards rather that jam-packed push and shove hallways and let’s not forget open air walkability to give that Fit Bit a workout. This projects a new lifestyle that we American consumers have embraced, one that incorporates all the luxuries of residential living spaces with shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities, fitness and multiple dining options, all within a walking distance. Many of these lifestyle centers also solve a ever-present, pressing problem that many cities and urban areas experience. The parking issue is being resolved by parking garages strategically placed within the lifestyle centers, creating added value and convenience. The face of retail is ever-changing they say. However, the popularity of this particular development concept may provide sustainability for this new look of retail.