Water contracts affecting cost, quality, capacity, and confidence in utilities

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It’s another bloody blog you may say!

Let’s talk about recent water contract news regarding Waterville and Bowling Green.

If Waterville reaches an agreement with the City of Bowling Green to purchase Bowling Green water long-term, that could very well be a blueprint for the future for other municipalities in the region. With several other water contracts expiring over the next 10 years between the City of Toledo and smaller municipalities, there could be quite an exodus of users from Toledo’s system.

If this were to happen, it could leave the City of Toledo’s utilities in a dramatically weakened condition financially.  Right now outside water users, such as those in Waterville, provide more than 51% of the annual revenue generated by the city of Toledo utilities department.

Currently, Northwestern Water & Sewer District has about 7000 customers for Toledo water.  These customers live in Rossford, Northwood, Perrysburg Township, and parts of Lake and Troy Township.  Each of these areas is covered by various contracts that do not expire for another 10 years.

What will be the effects on their rates if Toledo loses other outside customers before then?

Our contract renewal is not as near as other political subdivisions in the area, but it really makes us wonder who will still be in those talks with Toledo by that time.  Obviously, this is something that Northwestern Water & Sewer District must plan for now.

In the meantime, we have much to do within our own system for both water and sewer services to our customers. But we will continue to monitor these discussions and look for the best alternatives to serve our customers around the county. It very well may be that multiple suppliers should be used to serve the sections of the county where our customers reside. Obviously, besides the cost of the water, the quality and capacity and confidence in the provider will have to be considered as well, and weighed as a factor in any contract negotiations.