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At least seven national contractors will be asked to submit proposal for operating North Tonawanda's water and wastewater treatment systems, water distribution and billing.

A final draft of request for proposals for possibly privatizing the facilities to save the city significant costs is expected in time for approval at next Tuesday's Common Council meeting.

The draft of the request is being prepared by Wastewater Plant Superintendent Paul J. Drof and Water Department Superintendent Paul F. McDonough with input from a citizens advisory committee.

Among companies that will definitely be requested for proposals are:

American Anglian of Pittsburgh; OMI Inc. of Atlanta; Azurix Corp., which recently acquired Philip Utilities Management of Milton, Ont.; U.S. Water LLC of Bolingbrook, Ill.; U.S. Filter of Napierville, Ill.; Severn Trent Environmental Services of Glencove, L.I.; and Earth Tech of Cazenovia.

Proposals will be received until Nov. 12. A preproposal mandatory meeting of contractors is scheduled for Sept. 19.

The contractor receiving the highest rating by the city will be selected Dec. 17, and negotiations for a five or more year contract with the option of a contract extension will begin Jan. 24.

The city wants to know separately the cost of the city wastewater treatment plant and the water plant, and the cost of a combined operation of the facilities in a joint partnership with the city and a private firm.

While the various options are considered, the city will remain owner of the facilities.

In another matter, the Council heard a plan by the North Tonawanda National Little League to build a combination restroom and maintenance building for equipment at the corner of Wheatfield Street and Stephen Sikora Drive.

The organization needs a sanitary sewer connection and city water to supply the proposed 40 foot by 22 foot concrete block building, said North Tonawanda Little League President Charles Insalaco and Treasurer Richard E. Dentinger.

The new facility will replace a 35-year-old maintenance building and rented portable toilets.

City Engineer Dale W. Marshall and McDonough were directed to prepare cost estimates by next Tuesday's council meeting.

League officials estimated the construction cost at $39,000, not including the sanitary sewer connection.

A state grant has been obtained for 26 percent of the cost, they said.

North Tonawanda National Little League, in operation since 1953, is chartered through Little League Baseball Inc., of Williamsport, Pa., a non-profit corporation. There are seven age divisions for players, from 5 to 18.

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