The city of Altoona is bankrupt.
The Altoona Water Authority is quite profitable.
The city of Altoona must provide its residents with a fire department, a police department, a public services department, a water and sewer department and so on.
The AWA provides its paying customers with: water - an abundant, naturally occurring, continuously renewable, local resource - and the removal of sewage produced by its paying customers.
The AWA, although carrying a significant debt, constructed a brand new building costing more than $6.5 million to accommodate 20 staffers.
Take a drive by or visit Altoona City Hall: There is no comparison. The recent former mayor of Altoona decried not having his own office. The general manager of the AWA has his own office, plus his wife also works there.
Does the mayor of Altoona have an automobile provided for his use? The general manager of the AWA has a new four-wheel drive vehicle provided for his use. Why?
What a significant perk or boost in salary. Anyone owning an automobile can appreciate this benefit.
What is the salary of the mayor of Altoona to compensate him for his difficult position?
The salary of the AWA general manager is between $75,000 and $80,000. (Editor's note:?It's $84,000).
All the local unions have had to bargain for contracts. The AWA employees are notably quiet.
Perhaps Councilman Bruce Kelly and Mayor Matthew Pacifico are on the right track by pursuing leasing the AWA.