WADSWORTH — Improving water quality and addressing sewer service in southern Medina County was the focus of a meeting Thursday night at Wadsworth City Hall.
“There is an old water system there that is past its useful life with some water wells, and there are some issues with pressure; and so there are some problems that need to be addressed,” Wadsworth City Service Director Robert Patrick said.
“I think everyone can agree to that.”
There wasn’t agreement, however, on how to address wastewater treatment.
A proposal to address the issue by the county Sanitary Engineer’s Office was presented by Sanitary Engineer Amy Lyon-Galvin.
Under this proposal, Wadsworth would lose $612,510 in revenue for wastewater treatment for county customers and would remove 896 customers currently serviced by the city. Under this plan, county sewer customers who are residents of Wadsworth, Wadsworth Township and Sharon Township would pay $30.25 each month for service.
Patrick said the loss of revenue could force the city to increase its rates for sewer service by 16 percent.
“We thought that was too drastic. We didn’t want to do that to our customers, and so we said we’re not in support of that,” he said.
Lyon-Galvin showed a map of what Wadsworth looked like when a 1975 agreement was signed between the city and the county that she said was mutually beneficial.
“All of the utilities that were constructed associated with the north and the south flow stations that we are talking about today were all outside of the city corporate limits,” she said.
Lyon-Galvin said the reason the county is in the sewer business in Wadsworth is because the corporate boundary has changed since the time of the 1975 agreement.
Lyon-Galvin also said the county has been in talks with Sharon Township officials for over a decade regarding how the county can help improve water quality and pressure.
“We have been actively trying to pursue a solution that improves pressure, improves volume and reliability of that system,” she said.
“There is a 12-inch waterline that Medina County owns and it goes from the city of Wadsworth’s northern limits up to just south of Sharon Center,” Patrick said.
While the line currently serves as an emergency connection, Patrick said the city believes it could be open all the time, feeding Sharon Center and allowing the county to build a new waterline. Patrick said that line could go down state Route 162, south on State Road and then connect into the city waterline, creating a looping effect.
NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci said during the meeting that while her agency wants to see an agreement that makes everyone happy, there is only so much time for all parties to find a middle ground.
“If there isn’t consensus reached at some time, (NOACA) need(s) to make that decision, and come up with something and approve something that may not be what everybody wants but it is the staff recommendation,” she said.
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency handles transportation and environmental planning for five counties: Medina, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain and Geauga.