Liberty, Girard discuss lowering water rates

By Graig Graziosi

Representatives of Liberty Township are fighting to have their water rates lowered, but officials in Girard – which provides some Liberty residents with their water – say any substantive drop in rates would be impossible.

The representatives met Wednesday afternoon to discuss the current contract and each community’s desires for the upcoming 2020 contract renewal.

Liberty residents who get their water from Youngstown pay a 40 percent surcharge, but residents who get water from Girard pay an additional 40 percent surcharge, resulting in an 80 percent surcharge on their bills.

Girard Mayor James Melfi said the revenue generated from the surcharge goes to maintaining infrastructure in the water district and to allow the city to afford to purchase its own water. Currently, he said, there could be no decrease in rates for Liberty without putting Girard’s revenue-generating water enterprise at risk.

Liberty and Girard officials agreed that members of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District – which sells Girard portions of its water – should be involved in further discussions.

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