TOLEDO, Ohio — In just two weeks, the Toledo City Council will be the first community of nine to vote on the new tentative regional water contract approved Friday.
Some of the Toledo City Council members seem confident this is a good and fair deal. They said it's the stability that comes with regional water that has them hopeful.
"It means an awful lot to be close to an agreement because it will really stabilize a lot of things," Council Member Tom Waniewski said.
"Everyone in our region wants the same thing,” Council Member Sandy Spang said. “They want the highest quality drinking water at the lowest possible price and our best chance for that is in a partnership together."
Toledo City Council recently learned of the new regional water contract that was preliminary agreed on by nine communities. While they were the reason the Toledo Area Water Authority (TAWA) didn't pass last year, they now will be the first to cast their vote on the new agreement.
Council members said they feel this proposal is different.
"That's the revolutionary part of this is that everyone is aware of what our costs are and all of our partners are participating in that rate setting," Spang said.
Waniewski said this contract is a bridge from TAWA as it moves to monthly billing for customers as well as it allows Toledo residents to only be charged for the water they use.
"Those things really grew out of that and so I think we really do have a much better document for managing the system then we had before," Waniewski said.
If all nine communities approve the regional water contract, leaders will form a commission that will set rates.
The proposed agreement is for 40 years and Spang said she believes it will help our entire region.
"I think the best thing for our region to encourage economic development and to have companies look at us is to have long-term stability,” she said. “So, I think that that's really the win here is that we have an open process, long-term stability, were all in this together."
While council did vote down the last agreement, members said today is new day and this is a new proposal.
"I just want to make sure that the suburbs, the other community contractors are happy with what we are doing and can get back the trust that we really want them to have in the city,” Waniewski said.
The council is set to vote on the tentative regional water contract at their Sep. 3 meeting. A hearing is scheduled before so that members can ask questions, hear concerns and make the best decision.
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