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Mayor's virtual town hall to address algae concerns

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TOLEDO, OH (WNWO) - Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson is having her fourth Virtual Town Hall tonight on Facebook live, and this time she's addressing the harmful algae in Lake Erie. And one local organization in particular is seizing the opportunity.

The group "Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie" has laid out 10 specific questions it wants the mayor to address, and they submitted them this morning.

The questions range from economic - to legislative - to personal opinion.

They say a recent comment from the mayor sparked the inspiration for the questions.

Susan Metz, A Coordinator for ACLE, said, "at the candidate's night, she very clearly stated that she didn't understand what an impaired designation would bring to the city and to the western Lake Erie Watershed. And that was very puzzling to us."

An impaired designation is a study that offers measurable steps to mitigate pollution.

In fact, many of the questions to be asked already have clearly defined answers. However, Metz considers that "we're not sure that our leaders know those answers. Some of the other questions don't have clear answers, and we want to have a dialogue about them."

Representatives from the mayor's office feel confident the mayor is prepared to both answer and listen during this conversation…

Janet Schroeder, a City Spokesperson, assures, "the mayor's whole life is prep work for this discussion this evening."

She will be discussing the efforts she has already made to address the algae.

"The mayor will be talking about some of the ways that she's been working to try to improve protections for the lake," continues Schroeder. "And also the improvements we're been doing at the water treatment plant to make sure that our water remains safe and meeting or exceeding all standards."

Additionally, the city has begun monitoring Lake Erie's water quality each day. However the ACLE does not feel those efforts have been enough.

Metz states, "None of our leaders are taking the necessary the steps to make sure that the manure stops going into the lake. And, quite frankly, Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie feels that that's tantamount to criminal neglect."

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