Leaders from Toledo and its eight regional water customers voted today to bring in a neutral party to facilitate discussions on how best to form a regional water district under state law.
The decision at today’s Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments’ regional water planning committee meeting is another step forward in the months-long discussions aimed at equalizing water rates across communities who currently buy water from Toledo and it’s Collins Park Water Treatment plant.
Representatives from Toledo, Maumee, Perrysburg, Sylvania, Fulton County, Lucas County, Monroe County, Whitehouse, and the Northwestern Water and Sewer District voted unanimously to find a facilitator that can work with the committee’s executive board. The end goal is to craft a regional water district — which is a political subdivision under Ohio law — with a governing board and water rate structure that satisfies all parties.
Officials from Toledo and its suburbs so far have been unable to reach an agreement on the matter.
Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson today maintained her position that Toledo not give up ownership of its water treatment plant, while the suburban mayors continued to push for more say in how the plant is run and rates are determined.
Waterville Mayor Lori Brodie is a voting member of the committee but abstained from today’s vote because the municipality now buys its water from Bowling Green.
The TMACOG regional water committee will meet again at 7:30 a.m. April 5 to select a facilitator.