No decision yet on regional water system

By David J. Coehrs - [email protected]

Fulton County has not decided whether to participate in a regional bulk water system being proposed by Lucas County.

The Lucas County Metropolitan Sewer and Water District has passed a resolution supporting the system, which includes water intakes, treatment plants, and delivery. It would be operated as a cooperative partnership, with all participating jurisdictions having a say in the operation and rates.

According to the proposed scenario, Lucas County’s contract communities would build their own regional water treatment facility. The study suggests it would “develop cost comparisons for probable future monthly rates for financing construction and operation of a new regional water plant operating under a non-profit district that would supply bulk water at equal rates to each community/entity. Each community/entity would then be responsible for their own distribution expenses within the legal boundaries of their respective service territories.”

Described as “Scenario 2,” it would entail the construction and operation of a new regional water plant supplying bulk water at equal rates to all participating communities. The plan would not include the City of Toledo.

The communities involved would be held responsible for individual distribution expenses within the legal boundaries of their service areas. They would include Fulton, Lucas, and Monroe counties, Maumee, Perrysburg, Sylvania, Waterville, Whitehouse, and the Northwest Water and Sewer District.

The communities of Holland, Northwood, Ottawa Hills, and Rossford would be indirectly affected.

The bulk water system is one of three scenarios proposed in a study commissioned by the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) and prepared by Environmental Rate Consultants Inc., Poggemeyer Design Group, and T Parker & Co. Scenario 1 is for the City of Toledo only, and Scenario 3 offers an equal partnership in which water is provided to all users at a level cost.

Fulton County Public Utilities Director Ziad Musallam said because the study’s plans are not finalized the county has not decided whether it will participate. Details of Scenario 2 would include uniform service contracts and an equitable governing voice in the operation and rate setting, among others.

If the county chooses not to participate, “Fulton County would have to evaluate and identify other water supply sources,” he said.

Musallam said until all of the details are identified he can’t state the positive or negative aspects of the plan. He did say a true regional water system “would provide for sustainable, long-term partnerships for a reliable supply of water.”

A starting point for Scenario 2 has not been determined.

By David J. Coehrs

[email protected]

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.