While Fulton County officials are working out a deal with the city of Toledo for water service, Dennis Howell, Archbold village administrator, may have an offer the county can’t refuse.
Howell told the Fulton County commissioners, who attended the Monday, May 2, council meeting, that he was working on a proposal that would have Archbold supply potable water to the county water systems: the Northeast water system, North Star Steel, and the Swan Creek water district.
The North Star-BHP Steel mill, located west of Delta, is the key to the project, Howell said. He told council and the commissioners a North Star official had agreed to meet with him.
Toledo has sold water to Fulton County for many years through a pipeline under the Wabash Cannonball Trail through the county.
The waterline runs as far west as North Star, and supplies the Northeast system.
Ziad Musallam, director of public utilities for Fulton County, said the county had looked at the possibility of purchasing water from Archbold or Wauseon, or both.
But, he said, the Archbold- Wauseon alternates would require additional infrastructure– an underground pipeline– to be built.
The county would have to borrow money to build such a pipeline.
If the county goes with Toledo, there would be no additional expense.
Musallam said Fulton County was able to negotiate a better deal with Toledo for water service.
Under the contract that expired between the city and Fulton County, the county purchased water at the city’s highest rate.
Under a new contract, Fulton County would see water rates decline as usage increases.
Musallam said the contract is in the process of being signed by the three entities involved– Toledo, Lucas County, and Fulton County.
The commissioners said the agreement with Toledo calls for an 11% to 13% increase in water rates in 2016, then another 4% in 2017.
In response to a question from Howell, the commissioners said there were no caps on the increases.
“I think Archbold can step up to the plate,” Howell said.