Historic Regional Water Commission Approved By All Partners
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz today thanked the city’s partners upon approval of the historic regional water commission by each community involved.
“Toledo and its neighbors have been working for more than 30 years to try to solve the regional water puzzle,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “This agreement will help ensure reliable and safe drinking water for our residents, and for our neighbors, for decades to come. It is great to be able to turn this corner together and to move forward to deal with new challenges.”
The mayor held a news conference at Middlegrounds Metropark and was joined by the mayors of Maumee, Perrysburg, Sylvania, and Whitehouse; the Lucas County Commissioners, and representatives from Fulton County, Monroe County, and the Northwest Water and Sewer District.
“Now that we know we have all of our regional partners as a part of the regional water commission, we can devote our attention to the programs that will be a part of our retail system and be available to Toledo and Lucas County customers,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “We cannot complete the process and finish designing our customer assistance programs without customer feedback.”
Changes include eliminating minimum water charges, establishing monthly billing, bill-paying assistance for low-income customers, lead service line replacement assistance, water conservation education, a conservation metering pilot program, expanded community partnerships, and more ways to help customers. The mayor announced there would be six community forums in Toledo to discuss the programs in more detail. The meetings will be 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. as follows:
- Council District 1: Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the University of Toledo’s Scott Park Campus Auditorium
- Council District 2: Wednesday, Oct. 30 at Heatherdowns Library
- Council District 3: Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Birmingham Library
- Council District 4: Thursday, Oct. 24 at Main Library
- Council District 5: Monday, Oct. 28 at Washington Local Schools Administration Building, 3505 West Lincolnshire Blvd.
- Council District 6: Monday, Oct. 21 at Point Place Library
Consumers will benefit from eliminating minimum water charges. Minimum water charges will end Dec. 31, 2019. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, customers will pay a modest fixed fee per month and for water that passes through the meter. Charging a modest fixed fee, and for water used, enables customers to control their costs through conservation.
Voluntary monthly billing will begin in November and December for customers who received their final quarterly statement in October and November.
Regular monthly billing and due dates will be required for all customers starting in January, which will include new water rates, and the elimination of minimum water charges. Customers who “Go Green” by choosing paperless billing will receive a $1 credit for each utility statement that is not printed and mailed.
Discounts are provided on water, sewer, and storm rates, and refuse collection, regardless of income, for the primary single-family, owner-occupied residence of Toledo homeowners or spouses who are 65 or older, or who are disabled.
Starting in January 2020, Toledo will provide up to $250,000 on an annual basis for utility bill-paying assistance to avoid termination of water service for low-income customers.
Additionally, the first meeting of the Regional Water Commission will be next week. The commission will set bylaws that will determine the commission’s structure, meeting frequency, and other details. It will determine the wholesale rate and recommend it to Toledo City Council. Council can either adopt the rate or it will go into effect in 45 days.