Monday, Aug 29, 2016
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Mayor's office admits error in water rate discount

The Bell administration acknowledged Wednesday that water rates for the city of Rossford and Monroe County should not have been lowered by Mayor Mike Bell without council's approval.

The administration sent two ordinances to council asking it to waive for 18 months the provisions of Toledo Municipal Code that state the noncontract rate should have remained at base price plus 125 percent.

Councilman Joe McNamara alleged that the mayor "illegally discounted" the rate at which Toledo sells water to Rossford.

The last 20-year water contract between Toledo and Rossford expired May 27, 2008, after which then-Mayor Carty Finkbeiner ordered that the rate be the base price plus 125 percent.

Not long after taking office, Mr. Bell rolled back the rate to the base plus 40 percent, which was what the Wood County city had to pay under the previous contract.

He also reduced the rate for Monroe County after taking office. That 40-year contract for surplus water was entered on Oct. 17, 1969, and expired Oct. 17, 2009.

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