Divorce in the management of drinking water in Ile-de-France: salty addition

    Divorce in the management of drinking water in Ile-de-France: salty addition

    Between the cities that want to create their own public authority and the union that manages the production and distribution of drinking water in 151 municipalities in the region, the divorce, which began several years ago, is complicated.

    For the proper functioning of an intercommunal syndicate, the starting procedures are always constrained but the advent of the Territorial Public Establishments (EPT) of the Metropolis of Grand Paris (MGP) at the beginning of 2016 was an opportunity to leave without having to negotiate. authorization because the new territories have been given the competence for drinking water. It is in this context that three and finally two territories, Est Ensemble (Seine-Saint-Denis) and Grand Orly Seine Bièvre (Val-de-Marne) decided to take the plunge for all or part of their municipalities.

    There remained to be agreement on the financial and technical modalities, which has not resulted in a consensus to date.

    Read:
    Greater Paris of drinking water: big bill to get out of Sedif?
    Sedif’xit of drinking water in Ile-de-France: towards a no deal?

    No additional extension

    While, since 2018, a provisional agreement governed their cooperation with Sedif, the two territories voted this Wednesday, December 15 to extend this agreement until the end of September 2021. For its part, however, Sedif had not given its agreement a new extension, after several postponements, arguing that a new deadline was not compatible with the operation of Sedif, which must also prepare the end of its public service delegation contract with Véolia.

    This Thursday, December 17, the Syndical Committee of Sedif therefore recorded the departure of the territories (or their municipalities concerned) and presented the invoice to continue to cooperate from January 2021, based on a presentation made to the territories at the fall 2019.

    Around 5 million euros per territory

    In addition to the price of water, EPTs will have to pay a contribution to the investments carried by Sedif. The latter calculated their amount according to the volume of water represented by the municipalities wishing to leave Sedif, namely 7% of the total in each of the territories, or 5 million euros each. Est Ensemble will however have to pay a little more (5.3 million euros) because of the unevenness of the land and the need to raise the pipes. In the Grand Orly Seine Bièvre area, this sum will be distributed among the 9 towns that wish to leave Sedif.

    A 40-minute explanatory discussion in session

    This deliberation did not give rise to an adversarial debate because the elected representatives of the communes leaving Sedif cannot speak in session. The elected officials who spoke therefore condemned by mutual agreement the position of the secessionist towns or territories. André Santini thus denounced an ideology “Irrational” while “Three competent firms” arrived at the same conclusions not going in this direction, while Tonino Panetta (LR), mayor of Choisy-le-Roi and Richard D’ell’Agnola (LR), mayor of Thiais and vice-president of Sedif, all two mayors of cities of Grand Orly Seine Bièvre who chose to stay in Sedif, regretted the position of separatist councilors recognizing that “It will cost more, but it is the price of freedom”. Jean-Luc Touly, ex-EELV now municipal councilor of the DLF mayor of Wissous, Richard Trinquier, and previously ardent defender of the public water authority, has driven the point home by denouncing a hypocrisy of elected officials demanding a postponement of the convention of cooperation before the departmental and regional elections to return to the fold afterwards.

    Dina Deffairi-Saissac, elected EELV in Saint-Ouen, however pleaded the cause of the neighboring territory of Est Ensemble by indicating that the calculations of the EPT had led to an invoice of 1.4 million euros and not 5.3 million euros, asking to understand the difference. What was reminded of the calculation of 7%.

    In the end, the deliberation was adopted unanimously minus 4 against and 1 abstention.

    See the 40-minute debate below, starting at 3:12

    “A unilateral decision”

    “This is a unilateral decision”, denounces Marie Chavanon (PS), mayor of Fresnes (reached by phone this Friday). It will be necessary to realize a division of goods because the cities have invested. We are not against payment but we want a legal and technical discussion because we are within our rights ”, continues the elected. The mayors of the 9 towns * affected by the departure of the Sedif in the Grand Orly Seine Bièvre are due to meet this Saturday and a new Territorial Council is scheduled for next Wednesday to approve the annex budget for the public water authority which will be created by these cities and set the price of water. “Initially, this price will be aligned with the current price”, indicates Marie Chavanon.

    * Arcueil, Cachan, Chevilly-Larue, Fresnes, Gentilly, Ivry-sur-Seine, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, Orly and Vitry-sur-Seine

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