A study that includes cost estimates for linking water distribution systems in Ottawa and Wood counties is on the agenda of the April 19 committee-of-the-whole meeting of the Northwestern Water and Sewer District.
The district commissioned Poggemeyer Design Group for the study.
Jerry Greiner, executive director of the district, said it examines several possible routes for extending waterlines from Ottawa County to lines under the district’s jurisdiction.
The Ottawa County system currently reaches as far west as the Brush Wellman plant near the Village of Elmore.
“Where any new lines would be installed could depend on where there is interest on the part of municipalities in the county,” Greiner said. “We want to find out who is interested in linking up. There are right-of-way and easement issues that also have to be addressed.”
One option that’s been discussed informally is for Ottawa County to bring a line to the counties’ border along Fostoria Road where Wood County already has lines
The Northwestern Water and Sewer District purchases water from the cities of Toledo and Oregon and serves about 20,000 customers.
Greiner said Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown, who has been meeting with mayor’s from municipalities in the northern part of the county to discuss water and related issues, has indicated he will attend Monday’s meeting.
Ottawa County Sanitary Engineer Kelly Frey and Gino Monaco, administrator for the sanitary engineer’s office, have also been invited as have the county commissioners.
Wood County officials in November, 2008 spent a day touring water distribution facilities in Ottawa County, including the county’s regional system, the Carroll Township Water and Sewer District, and the system at Lake Erie Business Park.
Ottawa County Commissioner Steve Arndt, who met with the Wood County group on the tour, said at the time Ottawa County officials were willing to consider linking its distribution system with Wood County.
One advantage for Ottawa County in a joint project, he said, is that having more users would help keep costs down for customers.
The county completed the construction of its system in the late 1990s. In 2005, the system’s treatment plant was expanded to a capacity of 9 million gallons per day. The transmission system serves the City of Port Clinton and Village of Oak Harbor and distributes water to customers in Bay, Catawba, Danbury, Erie, Harris, Portage, and Salem townships.
The cost of water rates in northern Wood County has been a source of frustration for users and elected officials alike.
For example, the City of Rossford was involved in a contract dispute with Toledo last year over a rate hike and efforts by Toledo to increase its share of Rossford income tax collected in a Joint Economic Development Zone agreement. The JEDZ area is serviced by Toledo water purchased by Wood County.