Joyce Ship-Freeman is fearful of big hikes in water and sewer rates if Edison’s mayor and council lease the public utilities to a private company, Suez North America.

“They say in the event of a catastrophe that can go as high up as 10%. So therefore the people that are making it on a fixed income, like I am, cannot afford any higher rates,” she said.

The deal would call for Edison leasing control and management of its sewer system and part of its drinking water system to Suez, who would borrow $811 million from the Wall Street equity firm KKR for 11% interest for 40 years and Edison getting a concession or down payment of $105 million.

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