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Regional water committee OKs hiring of consultant for $98,000

Aim is for adviser to help area leaders reach consensus on water district plan

A planning committee agreed to hire a $98,000 consultant to help area leaders reach a consensus on how to form a regional water district — which aims to keep water safe and affordable for its consumers while giving each community a fair say in how Toledo’s Collins Park Water Treatment Plant is managed.

The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments’ regional water planning committee voted unanimously to hire Eric Rothstein of Galardi Rothstein Group, who advised the 2016 formation of Detroit’s Great Lakes Water Authority.

The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce last month suggested Mr. Rothstein would help the committee reach a consensus, something it has been working toward for more than a year. The chamber also offered to pay for the consultant.

“I think we’ve made major steps this morning to get ourselves moving forward,” Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough said today.

Mayor Stough chairs the TMACOG committee and proposed putting that committee on hold while elected officials from Toledo, Lucas County, Sylvania, Perrysburg, Maumee, Whitehouse, Fulton County, Monroe County, and the Northwestern Water and Sewer District meet with Mr. Rothstein at least monthly.

That subcommittee plans to update the full regional water planning committee at key points along the way, Mayor Stough said.

There is not a set timeline for when the group hopes to have a regional water district in place, but it may take up to 10 months.

Contact Sarah Elms at: selms@theblade.com or 419-724-6103 or on Twitter @BySarahElms.

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