For Immediate Release
June 21, 2011
Cecil County Commissioners Announce Maryland Court of Appeals Decision
on Asset Purchase Agreement with Artesian Maryland, Inc.
Elkton, MD - The Board of County Commissioners was advised today that the Maryland Court of Appeals upheld the Circuit Court ruling that Cecil County has the right to grant franchises for water and wastewater systems and sell county owned water and wastewater facilities to Artesian Water, Maryland Inc., and Artesian Wastewater, Maryland Inc.
On August 19, 2008, county officials approved a franchise agreement for Artesian, et al. to provide water and wastewater services to residents in the northern area of Cecil County. On October 7, 2008, the Board approved a related Asset Purchase Agreement to sell and transfer the county owned Meadowview, Pine Hills, Habourview and Route 4 water facilities, the Cherry Hill, Meadowview, Highlands and Harbourview Wastewater facilities, associated parcels of real property, and easement rights to Artesian, et al. The Appleton Regional Community Alliance (ARCA) filed a lawsuit against the County in the Maryland Court of Appeals seeking a ruling on the actions taken by the Board.
On June 21, 2011, the Court of Appeals ruled, "The Board is expressly authorized by art. 25, § 3D (b) to grant franchises for "water and sewerage systems in order to assure delivery of [such] services to its citizens, to avoid duplication of facilities . . . and to promote the general health and welfare by providing for adequate water and sewerage systems." The Board is not prohibited by art. 25, § 8 (a) from selling county owned water and sewerage systems pursuant to a transaction in which (1) the Board grants a water and wastewater services franchise to a private company; and (2) the private company purchases the county owned facilities in order to provide the very same essential services" http://mdcourts.gov/opinions/coa/2011/137a09.pdf .
Alfred C. Wein, Jr.
200 Chesapeake Blvd.
Elkton, MD 21921