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Published: Thursday, 7/17/2003

Perrysburg, district eye agreement


An agreement between Perrysburg City Council and the Northwestern Water and Sewer District would provide for a “one-bill” billing system, streamline customer service, and reduce by 25 percent district charges to Perrysburg water customers.

The city and the district have had numerous battles over water distribution. The proposed agreement is expected to resolve a variety of issues related to water service in the city and two neighboring townships.

The council likely will vote on the proposed agreement during its August meeting, said Kim Klewer, a councilman and chairman of the economic development committee who has been involved in the negotiations for about a year.

The district's board approved the water agreement last week. The city and the district approved a contract in 2001 to resolve sewer disputes.

The proposed agreement recognizes the city as sole provider of water within the area described in agreements the city has with Perrysburg and Middleton townships.

“The key thing with this is that it brings to halt any legal action and saves future legal costs,” Mr. Klewer said, noting that ongoing battles between the city and the district ran up $800,000 in legal fees before the city and Perrysburg Township reached their agreement.

“The township was using the district as anti-annexation issues,” he said. “The township said it needed a secondary water supply so it would not get gobbled up by the city.”

Under the proposed water agreement, the city and the district would deal with each other as partners, not adversaries, Mr. Klewer said. “We will have stability, and we can each progress in our own way to grow without worrying about interference from other entities.”

The agreement with the city and Perrysburg Township, described as historic when approved, already has improved relationships, Mr. Klewer said, pointing out that a joint city-township meeting scheduled for this month was canceled in part because there are no pending issues to discuss.

“This is a great sign,” he said, and it marks how well the city and township are communicating. “We are talking to trustees on a regular basis. Our relationship is the best it has been in an awful long time.”

Perrysburg Township Trustee Barbara Gunn said trustees suggested calling off the joint session.

“Things are pretty quiet at this point,” she said. “We each know what we're doing.”

Joint meetings will be held twice next year if any issues need to be addressed, Mr. Klewer said.

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