NILES Talks continue over service for water

County commissioners have complained that the Sharon company's costs are too high.
NILES -- Negotiations continue on who will provide water to parts of four Trumbull County townships.
Niles council approved an ordinance late last year authorizing the administration to enter an agreement with county commissioners for the city to provide the water in parts of Brookfield, Howland, Liberty and Vienna.
Those areas are served by Masury Water Co. of Sharon, which is part of Consumers Pennsylvania Water Co.'s Shenango Valley Division, but the commissioners say the costs are too high.
Proposal from Masury: Thomas Holloway, sanitary engineer, said the county has a proposal from Masury Water. He wouldn't elaborate on it but said it includes lower rates.
"The numbers warrant looking at the proposal very hard," Holloway said.
"There are quite a few questions that we want them to answer. We want them to say if this is their final offer."
The county then will ask Niles for its final numbers.
Randy Fabrizio, Niles water superintendent, said the city may not have much wiggle room.
"We went in there with our pencils pretty well sharpened," he said. "I don't know that we have much room for negotiation."
Niles charges its customers outside the city limits $28.08 monthly based on the use of 7,481 gallons per month.
Customers inside the city pay $18.84.
Niles sells water to Lordstown, Girard, Weathersfield and parts of Howland.
Girard is the largest outside customer, using about 1 million gallons a day.
The city buys 6 million gallons a day from the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District.
Trumbull County could become the largest customer if a plan is negotiated and approved.
Study: A study last year showed that water service could be extended by adding about a mile of pipe to the city's system and upgrading the Crandon Avenue pump station.
"Our bottom line is the pricing," Holloway said. "We're looking for the best offer for water customers in Trumbull County."

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