Toledo council supports regional water authority talks - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Toledo council supports regional water authority talks

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

In what some are calling a momentous decision about the future, big changes could be coming to the Toledo drinking water system.

Tuesday, Toledo City Council members unanimously voted "yes" to a resolution supporting ongoing talks about a regional water authority. 

This comes after Toledo's suburban water customers, like Sylvania and Maumee, began pushing for the creation of such a group, warning they'll get water somewhere else if Toledo doesn't get on board.

This vote is the first step.

"I think this has to be on the table, serious negotiations, and finding the best approach for the future that's going to result in us working together and not competing with each other," said Peter Ujvagi, Toledo councilman. 

Ujvagi calls this process "momentous" and says if the suburbs and the city go their separate ways with different water systems, that will cost everyone higher water rates.

"We're still going to have to pay more than we're paying now, because for a very long time we didn't raise, raise the water rates, but it's going to be a lot more if we break up and if you've got competing systems," said Ujvagi.

Lindsay Webb, Toledo council member, has been encouraging this discussion for years and says this vote allows city leaders to figure out the best way to provide drinking water.

"What is before us, basically, is for us to engage in comprehensive conversations about the governance of the region's most precious resource, which is water," said Webb.

The mayors and leaders of the water communities meet Wednesday at 8 a.m. at the TMACOG office. 

In an email, Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough said this about the vote and meeting:

"I am very pleased and excited that all nine water customers of the City of Toledo, and the City of Toledo itself, have passed resolutions of support for a regional water system.That is great progress for our whole region. Tomorrow morning we will listen to updates from our technical and legal subcommittees about what options are available for putting a unified water system in place.  With that information, the ten communities will discuss where to go from here, and keep moving toward our goal of a safe, redundant and economical water system for all our residents and for attracting new jobs to our area." 

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