Atlantic City Council considers taking over water authority, selling Bader Field

Atlantic City Councilman Kaleem Shabazz

Atlantic City Councilman Kaleem Shabazz

At its next public meeting, Atlantic City Council is expected to vote on whether to take control of the local water authority as well as whether to sell Bader Field.

The news comes amid an ongoing push by several Trenton lawmakers, including State Sen. President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, to put Atlantic City under state control in an attempt to fix its finances.

“The city is not in the best financial situation. In fact, you could say we are in a desperate financial situation,” said Councilman Kaleem Shabazz. “So we cannot rule out any responsible monetary moves.”

Council will decide whether to dissolve the Municipal Utilities Authority, the independently operated agency that provides the city with water, and put it under city control.

Shabazz said a city-owned water utility could translate into cost savings, if the city were able to receive extra revenues and negotiate future contracts of workers. He said the city may also sell the water utility down the line.

City lawmakers will also consider selling Bader Field, a large swath of city-owned land that’s home to a largely unused baseball stadium and a former airport, he said.

“We realize the seriousness of our situation and we’re moving with an urgency to address it,” said Shabazz.

“Even though it might not be the most ideal situation, the most ideal move that we want to make, we realize that we have to do these things that make sense,” he said.

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