Mayor Kapszukiewicz believes new regional plan will succeed
Toledo still wants a regional water system, even though some suburban communities backed out of the most recent idea.
The organization Protect Our Water invited Mayor Kapszukiewicz to the Sanger Branch Library to present his thoughts on Toledo's most recent water proposal.
"This proposal saves the taxpayers of Northwest Ohio hundreds of millions of dollars," said Mayor Kapszukiewicz.
"Well, I like this proposal much, much better than I did the original one, which I felt was very unfair to Toledo. It took advantage of all the years of operation, paying for bills and so forth that Toledoans put into that plant," said Protect Our Water Member and Former Toledo Mayor, Carty Finkbeiner.
The original Toledo Area Water Authority is dead.
It featured nine communities coming together to reduce water rates for all.
Now, Toledo is proposing suburban communities to join their new proposal.
It allows Toledo to own the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant. Each community involved will have one representative besides Toledo, who will have two.
Toledo City Council would ultimately be able to veto any rates decided by the regional commission.
"We can create a fair and regional system that is good for Toledo, good for our suburban customers, and gives them a seat at the table that they've never had before. It gives up power. The city of Toledo believes in regional system so much that we're going to give up power to mend our charter," declared Mayor Kapszukiewicz.
Meanwhile, those suburban entities are researching alternatives, including an underground water source, the Michindoh Aquifer.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz believes to have around 90% of water users on board with joining the plan...with the exceptions of Maumee and Sylvania at this point.
He's confident the suburbs will sign on when it is time.
Maumee resident Earl Murry has attended meetings in both Toledo and Maumee. He thinks there is hope, but only if the community leaders can get in the same room together.
"I think that those issues can be resolved, but they've got to be resolved smartly with everyone talking on the same thing and about the same thing."
The first public hearing for the new water plan will be at 5 p.m. on August 2nd. If city council approves the plan, residents will vote on it in November.