City leaders weigh in on TAWA

City leaders weigh in on TAWA
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - "It's a huge decision Toledo has to make," explained Nick Komives, a Toledo city council member.

A big decision facing generations to come, forming a regional water authority, or not.

City leaders though said there's no rush, yet.

Toledo voters said our water plant is one of our biggest assets, but some fear what the Toledo Area Water Authority would do to that vital resource.

While many across the city are trying to figure out what TAWA looks like several asked to hear directly from city leaders about what they think of the deal, so we asked them.

"As it stands right now no, I wouldn't vote," said Toledo City Council member Yvonne Harper. "It would be a no."

"I think we can all agree that what we have isn't working," said Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz. "I think we can all agree we have to do something different, we have to do something better and the goal for me as mayor of Toledo and I think the goal for all of us is to protect the ratepayers of Toledo."

More questions asked and answered of the potential  Toledo Area Water Authority Thursday night at Nexus Healthcare in the city's fourth district.

Several questioned if this is the right move for the Glass City. Toledoans wanted to know why we would sell our water plant.

"Toledoans do not want to loose ownership," explained councilwoman Harper. "I'm like the constituents, I am a constituent. I don't want to loose ownership leasing it maybe but we need to find the facts out before we do anything."

While the city waits for an appraisal of the water plant, other neighbors are upset about the city only getting two seats on the TAWA board of seven. A deal 
negotiated by the prior administration.

"I wish that under this current proposal that Toledo had more seats on the board," admitted Mayor Kapszukiewicz. "I do wish that, but in any negotiation there is give and take there are things you fight for and things you give away."

The mayor said while they lack seats on the board, Toledoans can benefit under TAWA because of a deal to replace lead lines throughout the city and the creation of a water assistance program for those trying to make ends meet. That's one of the biggest issues to some as figures show Toledo's water rates could triple if every customer leaves.

"I think that the majority of what people care about what their rates look like under this deal or not under this deal so that's one thing that I am really interested in learning about as we move forward," explained Nick Komives, a Toledo City Council member.

City Leaders say there is no rush to make a choice now, rather they will continue to research what will be the best option for you.

A vote isn't expected from city council until this fall and only if approved would it go to a vote of the people in November to form a regional water system.

To learn more about the regional water authority you can go to their website or the city's.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.