TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo and the city's suburban water customers are moving forward with plans to create a regional water authority. They believe that it's time to be out with the old and in with the new.
Leaders from different municipalities are expected to move forward in agreement during a ceremony at the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.
"For decades, people have talked about regional water in Northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. This is the furthest our region's directors have gotten the ball down the field," said Tim Brown, President of Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, or TMACOG.
Currently, Toledo provides water to a number of different communities in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio, but the city's mayor said, the status quo is no longer an option.
"We have suburban partners and suburban customers who will leave our system, they will cease to get water from Toledo and they will get it elsewhere unless we can create a regional system where we do this together," said Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.
The city and its water customers are in the beginning stages of creating the Toledo area water authority, also knows as TAWA. Wednesday morning they will gather to announce further plans to move the process forward.
"City council's still gonna go through its due diligence and hold hearings and debate this and only at the end of that will city council decide if this is something it wants to do," said Kapszukiewicz.
The mayor said the regional system would be governed by a separate board of directors that would equalize rates across the region. The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, or TMACOG, put together a study that looked at how this might work..
"What a majority of the members have said, the suburban customers of Toledo, is that they want a say in what the rates are in how its governed and structured," Brown said. "The study just displayed to our region's leaders they're better. Everyone's better if we can come with some sort of a regional system."
Mayor Kapszukiewicz said Wednesday's ceremony will include a little pomp and circumstance highlighting work that is about to begin in earnest.