The mayor of Hammond, Ind., said last week he won’t move forward with a plan to sell the city’s water company due to costly legal fees and an uncertain market.
Mayor Thomas McDermott proposed selling the asset in his state of the city address earlier this year. He said the sale could bring in as much as $700 million to the small city, which is located in northwest Indiana near Chicago and is known for its casinos.
But late last week, McDermott said he had changed his mind, in part because the market value of the asset is uncertain.
“What happens if we do sell this and 20 years from now people are talking about Tom McDermott selling the water department like it was the worst mistake ever made in Hammond?” he told the local Northwest Indiana Times. “We could be sitting on a diamond mine — water 20 years from now that may be the oil of today.”
Instead of selling the company, McDermott said the city was hoping to sell water to nearby municipalities. Hammond already supplies water to several towns.