Obermayer’s Municipal Services Team Closes a Deal On Behalf of Altoona Water Authority

February 11, 2020

Tom Wyatt and Michael Thom represented the Altoona Water Authority in its acquisition of the Bellemead Civic Association’s water distribution system, which closed in record timing of just two weeks on January 24, 2020. This was a significant transaction, as its acquisition of 130 customers not only removes the water distribution system from private residential control, but it also gives Altoona the framework it needs to continue to expand its water distribution system throughout Blair County. Altoona’s acquisition of Bellemead’s water distribution assets will provide a much needed gateway to greater regionalization in Blair County, while enabling a residential civic association to decommission a small water treatment plant that would inevitably require significant and costly upgrades.

Altoona Water Authority is the largest dual-operating authority (water and wastewater) between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. It supplies public water to 60% of Blair County, serving a population of about 70,000 people, with approximately 23,000 customer accounts in eleven municipalities. In addition to domestic water service, the Authority maintains public, commercial, and industrial accounts.

Tom Wyatt chairs the municipal infrastructure and services practice area. He represents local governments and municipal authorities with infrastructure related matters, such as regulatory compliance, bulk sale and services contract negotiations and water and wastewater system purchases and sales. Tom’s close collaboration with municipal solicitor’s and significant practical experience as counsel to municipalities relating to a PUC application under Act 12 and relating to the PA DEP make him a trusted advisor in preparing witness testimonies and drafting water and wastewater planning documents. Beyond his municipal infrastructure and services practice, Tom represents individuals and corporations in business and finance, and corporate governance matters.

Michael Thom focuses his practice on transactional matters, including water and wastewater system purchases and sales. Mike’s experience in public and private finance, as well as with easements, rights-of-way and property matters allows him to advise municipalities and authorities on pertinent issues when analyzing purchase documents. In addition to his municipal practice, Mike represents individuals, groups and organizations in banking, real estate, corporate and private securities matters.