Over the past few weeks, three regional studies have been completed and publicly released. These include:
- TMACOG’s regional water rate study for Toledo’s water system.
- City of Sylvania’s water study for their community and Southern Monroe (Ml} County
- Wood County Economic Development Commission’s water study for its county.
Each study reviewed and summarized different data related to service in their political jurisdiction. Thus, they are all different, but provide some financial data for comparison.
Both the TMACOG study and Sylvania’s study recommend expensive new infrastructure that needs to be built either singularly or by a larger political group or customers to satisfy EPA demands or to offer Sylvania options or provide backup for Toledo. (But at what price?)
The Wood County Economic Development Commission (WCEDC) study concludes the City of Bowling Green infrastructure has existing water capacity to serve others, up to some point. Depending on the users, they can be served with existing plant or expanded plant capacity. Much depends on necessary reservoir capacity to serve the various expanded areas, however (and the willingness of Bowling Green to sell it!)
Now, review and discussion must occur and weighing of options become necessary to determine what’s best for the various geographical users. Some systems may be able to add redundancy and emergency connections as needed, if that is important and affordable to them.
But it’s all at additional costs with little revenue growth expected. That will mean increased costs and increased water bills for everyone!
For copies of these reports, please go to our website to read them (www.nwwsd.org).
Hello all- I hope you are enjoyed the spring season and are looking forward to summertime!
I need a favor please.
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I am also asking all organizational reps who do work with us to take the survey as well. If you are a contractor, a media person, a government agency representative, or vendor, please help us by providing feedback on how we are doing.
Our survey is much needed as we want and appreciate your opinions and feedback.
The District needs to continually improve and we can’t really do that without your help.
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EMILYS POSTS ON TWITTER
The Northwestern Water & Sewer District’s board approved a merger with the Village of McComb at our board meeting on April 28, 2016. It should be officially completed within 90 days.
What’s this mean?
District personnel will be providing water and sewer services in another village (McComb), this time in Hancock County. One new employee will come to the District from the village, but he is a key man as he operates their water plant!
The village has approximately 700 users including the independent village school system. Another unusual user is Hearthside Foods, a regional cookie factory, which has approximately 1600 employees. They are a key economic development hub to that area of our region.
What’s the big deal?
The village has a stable local environment and nice standard of living, but needs an expensive wastewater plant upgrade, local water system upgrades, and more resources overall for utilities. The existing rates for services are similar to ours, but would be heavily impacted by the sewer plant cost. There will be an ongoing discussion within the District as we discuss who pays for the new capital expenditure.
Meantime, their water distribution system needs repairs and attention. These include things we will do in a normal everyday operation for our customers, such as repairing hydrants and valves.
A new watershed is prepared to open in McComb on June 1st with a ribbon cutting ceremony. This is our 8th water vending machine and has a nice location in McComb. It should do well.
Our capabilities fulfill most every municipal need. Between the need for operators, reasonable rates, financing options and economic development tasks, we do them all routinely and capably!
EMILYPOSTS ON TWITTER
The area’s three water studies should be out soon. These will give the three areas of our region different perspectives of our area’s water issues.
For example, the TMACOG directed water study is really a rate study forecast on Toledo’s water rates into the next 30-40 years. It should reflect ongoing water plant improvements for “in-Toledo” and “outside-Toledo” rate payers. This study was funded by Toledo’s water users and Lucas County Sanitary Engineer’s Office with support from a State of Ohio LGIF grant.
The second study out should come from the City of Sylvania. It looked at regional alternatives to Toledo’s water plant for our areas including Lucas, Wood and Southern Michigan. All of whom already use Toledo’s water under long-term Toledo contracts. This study should update what they did approximately 15 years ago in their Black and Veatch (engineering company) study. This current update was funded by multiple regional parties including the City of Perrysburg and the Wood County Economic Development Commission as well as other Lucas County-Southern Michigan parties, (but I don’t know the list!).
The third study due out is one commissioned by the Wood County Economic Development Commission for Wood County residents. It’s been paid for solely by Wood County Economic Development Commission. It should provide various water options in the region for Wood County residents. Our water suppliers now include City of Toledo, Oregon, Bowling Green, Fostoria as well as village-suppliers such as North Baltimore, Bloomdale (District), Wayne, Bradner and Pemberville. Some of these serve larger geographical areas already such as Toledo, Oregon, Bowling Green and Fostoria with their excess capacities. While other local smaller communicates service primarily their own residents.
Stay in touch, more on these as they materialize and “go-public!”
EMILY POSTS ON TWITTER
I’ve “blogged” for 12 months now. Actually about 42 times in 52 weeks.
All-in-all it’s been a good effort with help from my friends and other department managers here at the Northwestern Water & Sewer District.
For those of you who are reading, I hope you have found them helpful and interesting.
With several of us involved in daily water and sewer operations, county-wide economic development, and regional environmental issues, we feel we do have insight and understanding from a unique perspective as administrators, professionals, and public stewards of many resources here in the county.
I will continue to write them. I believe there is value in these blogs to the reader, whether it’s the customer, a community member, or an employee here at the District that is reading!
EMILYPOSTS ON TWITTER
Over the past few weeks I’ve outlined several regional water studies that are nearing completion and should be released soon. Here are some updates on each:
1. TMACOG’ s analysis of Toledo’ s rates that is due out in mid- April, after their spring election.
This report will estimate the cost of Toledo’s water over the next S-8 years. It’s going to increase due to the level of capital improvements under construction and scheduled.
2. Wood County Economic Development Commission’s Wood County Water Options Report is due out by late March. It will identify options and capacity to serve the larger areas of the county.
3. The City of Sylvania’ s alternative water study is due out this spring, but I cannot confirm if it will be March or April. This updated study from several years ago will define treatment options and delivery costs for water to Sylvania and participating neighbors.
4. Henry County’s decision on regional water options has been notified of possible funding for a new regional water plant to serve primarily Henry County (including McClure), Liberty Center and Whitehouse. This gives them great flexibility and independence if they all stay with the District concept.
What should we see?
The best alternative in all of these areas should provide quality water at an affordable price.
Sounds easy doesn’t t it?
Let’ s see what options present themselves to do that the best!
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