(HANNIBAL)--An attempt by a private company to acquire the Hannibal Board of Public Works water system is over.

Missouri American Water had been expressing interest but they have now backed out. Because the water system is publicly owned, Missouri American could have petitioned to let residents decide at the ballot box. General Manager Bob Stevenson says he believes rates would have increased following the proposed change of ownership.

Hannibal’s water system has been publicly owned for the last century.