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Metropolitan Council Blue Lake Solids Handling Project: One of the First True Public/Private Partnerships

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Since the early 1990's, the nexus of private, public, and union interests that drive public utility operations in the United States has seen time-tested methodologies crumble under a relentless pressure to increase efficiency. The motivation to increase communities' return on investments in utility operations has often pitted these private, public, and union interests against one another in adversarial roles. However, in 1999, a unique operations and maintenance agreement was forged in Minnesota that eliminated the adversarial separations between these interests. While many projects are promoted as public/private partnerships, they are often nothing more than a contract operator operating publicly owned assets. The product of this unique design/build/operate project was a private firm building and managing a publicly owned facility staffed by the existing union employees. The Blue Lake solids handling project is truly one of the first public/private partnerships – one with all parties working together to overcome the detailed technical issues necessary to make a teaming arrangement successful.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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