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Regional Water Commission: Will the suburbs sign On?

Suburb leaders who would buy from Toledo are saying “not so fast.”

TOLEDO (WTOL) - With the passage of Issue 15 on Tuesday, voters have decided to form a regional water commission. It would consist of representatives from each community buying water from the city of Toledo.

Yet suburb leaders who would buy from Toledo are saying “not so fast.”

"If we entered into the agreement with Toledo, Day One, Maumee residents' water rates go up 50 percent, because were the lowest. So our residents are not going to like that to begin with,” said Maumee Mayor Richard Carr.

The City of Toledo would maintain the power to control water rates. It’s a chief point of contention for outlying communities who want more authority in their contract with Toledo.

As a result, many are looking into alternatives. From buying water from Bowling Green to looking into an aquifer in Fayette, suburb leaders in Perrysburg, Maumee, and Sylvania want more control over the long term water rates their residents will face. One leader says the aquifer is becoming a very viable alternative.

"If that’s the case, then the communities would form our own regional water authority. We would own the facility, so we would never be negotiating a contract again. And it also preliminarily looks like it would be substantially less cost for our residents,” said Carr.

Study results on a Fayette aquifer were completed Thursday. Those results are on their way Friday to two different experts for their opinions on the water’s potential quality and long term supply.

Leaders said they will make a final decision regarding where to purchase their water in February 2019, ahead of their water contracts’ expiration with Toledo in 2026. They say they are willing to work with the City of Toledo, but ultimately, the city will have to make changes to their contract to make it an economically appealing deal for the residents of the suburbs.

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