November 26, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria, Ridgeville strike water deal

A water agreement has been worked out between the cities of Elyria and North Ridgeville in which Elyria will
become the primary water supplier for North Ridgeville.

The deal will result in level water rates in North Ridgeville for the next 10 years, and will be a revenue generator for Elyria.

Mayor Dave Gillock said North Ridgeville, which currently uses roughly 3 million gallons of water a day, began searching for a new provider when Avon Lake passed a series of rate increase ordinances earlier this year.

“This agreement will allow us to purchase up to 2 million gallons a day from Elyria, and the Elyria rate is $1.21 a gallon for every 1,000 gallons,” he said. “When we started discussing this switch, the rate in Avon Lake was $1.22 per 1,000 gallons and it has already gone up to $1.41 per gallon.”

North Ridgeville residents won’t see their bills decline, but they won’t see them increase, either, Gillock said.

“We locked in a favorable rate for our residents for the next 10 years,” Gillock said. “When you are buying 2 million gallons a day, 20 cents adds up pretty quickly.”

Gillock said North Ridgeville is not ready to open its taps to receive the full 2 million gallons now, but city officials hope after some needed upgrades that it will be able to primarily use Elyria water in the near future.

North Ridgeville buys water from three different sources — Avon Lake, Elyria and the Rural Lorain County Ohio Water Authority.

Elyria Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said North Ridgeville will start off will taking 100,000 to 300,000 additional gallons a day and will gradually accept more as its system allows.

The revenue capacity for Elyria will be between $50,000 and $250,000 a year that will go directly into the water fund. Down the line, when North Ridgeville takes the full 2 million gallons, the revenue for Elyria could be upwards of $500,000.

“I smile every time I think back to when our city’s founding leaders decided to purchase that land in Lorain and build our own water plant,” Siwierka said. “It was a smart decision for the city made many, many years ago and as a result we have to opportunity to generate some revenue for the city.”

Siwierka said Elyria sells water to North Ridgeville, Avon and Sheffield.

The idea to sell water to North Ridgeville also led to an equipment sharing agreement between the two cities.

Siwierka said Elyria has agreed to offer its street striping truck and sign shop to North Ridgeville in exchange
for the use of North Ridgeville’s street paving truck. No money is exchanging hands in this deal.

“Obviously, not everyone can afford to buy the biggest and best of everything and use them exclusively for their own use,” she said.

“This is probably one of the best ways to save taxpayers money and I am always open to sharing resources,” Gillock added.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.