Toledo officials talk water crisis, sewer rates at public meetin - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Toledo officials talk water crisis, sewer rates at public meeting Monday

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Toledoans got an update Monday on how the City is handling lingering concerns over its drinking water.

Councilman Steve Steel expressed his anger with Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins at the city meeting. Steel said he learned of the drinking water ban early on Saturday, Aug. 2, from text messages.

"[The texts were from] friends. No one related to the administration," Steel said. "I had no communications as a member of council that perhaps there was a problem with the drinking water. I find that appalling."

Steel also said he wondered if the mayor's department heads should be put on permanent leave. Collins' spokesperson says she called City Council President Paula Hicks-Hudson at 1:19 a.m. on Aug. 2 to let council members know, and said the mayor's consistent appearance at news conferences during the crisis proved he was being transparent.

Later at a meeting to detail the proposed sewer rate increases, Toledo Director of Public Utilities Ed Moore told residents city officials are reviewing how the crisis was handled.

"I acknowledge our shortcomings. I think we could have did a lot better," Moore said. "I'm not trying to sugar-coat that at all. But what we will do is look at every incident, everything we did in response to this incident."

He also said the city's drinking water is safe and there have not been any quality problems since the crisis. He blamed the water crisis on the algal bloom in Lake Erie, not deficiencies at the water treatment plant.

But Toledo taxpayer and executive director of the Lucas County Democrats Yvonne Harper told officials at the meeting that she isn't sure she can trust them when it comes to the drinking water.

"We got people scared to drink water – still," Harper said. "I want more answers because I feel that there is something wrong."

Moore promised residents he will have a drinking water emergency response plan in place within 30 days.

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