CITY COUNCIL Committee recommends OK'ing water contract

Aqua would build and pay for a waterline to Southington, an official said.
WARREN -- The city stands to gain $150,000 to $250,000 a year from a contract with a private company to supply water to Southington, according to Robert Davis, the city's director of utility services.
Under the proposed 20-year agreement with Aqua Ohio, the only cost to the city would be $2,500 to $3,000 for installation of a water meter at the city line, which the city would have to test for accuracy every two years, Davis said.
"It's a good deal for the city of Warren," Davis said. It provides additional revenue for the water department, with the potential for the city to supply more water as demand increases from new development in the Southington area and beyond, he said.
"The city will benefit at virtually little to no cost to the citizens of Warren," he added.
Cleveland's outer suburban development is moving down U.S. Route 422 toward Southington, he observed. "Aqua sees that benefit, that growth potential," he said.
City council's finance committee recommended Tuesday the introduction of an ordinance at tonight's council meeting to approve a water supply contract between the city and Aqua. The meeting is at 7:30.
Aqua would build the new waterline at its expense, starting from U.S. Route 422 and Enterprise Drive and running along Route 422 (Parkman Road) to Southington, and the city would initially supply 300,000 to 400,000 gallons of water daily, he said.
"They're trying to make sure that they have a water source, then they can move forward," with waterline construction, Davis said.
Current capacity
The city gets its water from Mosquito Lake, and its treatment plant at the south end of the lake is capable of supplying 24 million gallons daily. It now supplies an average of only 14 million gallons daily, so the amount it would send to Southington is well within its capabilities, Davis said.
"There is no city water out there, and their wells are contaminated," Davis said, adding that he wasn't sure of the nature of the contamination.
City Councilman at-large Gary Fonce noted that Columbus has grown into a thriving metropolis because it has insisted that surrounding communities annex to the city to get their water and sewer services. "Somewhere down the line, we need to take a look at this annexation again," he said of the city of Warren's annexation policy.
"If we could annex Southington, I would be the first to be pushing annexation for our water," said Safety-Service Director William "Doug" Franklin. But Franklin said Southington isn't eligible to be annexed to the city because it isn't contiguous to Warren.
The city's new revenue from supplying water to Southington could be used for water department construction and maintenance, but not for any other city department, Davis said.

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