Lehigh County Authority was the highest bid for the concession to run the City of Allentown's water and sewer treatment plant.
Bids were opened Tuesday with the authority coming in as the highest of five qualified bids at $220 million. The bid was the authority's "best and final offer" after the second place bidder came within 10 percent of its original bid, which was $205 million.
The city had been seeking bids of between at least $150 million to $200 million according to Mayor Ed Pawlowski.
The city will continue to own and maintain the water supply. The concession contract would have the authority run the water system for 50 years.
Pawlowski had sought the concession agreement to help pay for the city's growing pension costs.
City council is expected to vote on the matter before the end of the month.