Toledo makes plans for wastewater plant as voters weigh-in this November

Toledo making plans for wastewater plant as voters weigh-in this November
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 12:15 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As Toledo voters get ready to see a ballot question, repairs and upgrades are on the way to Toledo’s Bayview Wastewater Treatment plant.

The city has said repeatedly that upgrades and fixes are needed here. If the voters approve the measure, that will start the clock on a new round of repairs. If they say no, fixes still have to happen.

Repairs and upgrades to Toledo’s Bayview Wastewater Treatment plant won’t be cheap. The estimates are somewhere in the $800 million to $900 million range. Plans are well underway to find not only the money to pay for it, but finding the right technology.

“Looking into every possible technology that exist to ensure that we design a plant that is sustainable and protects the environment for future generations of Toledo,” said Deputy Mayor Abby Arnold.

Voters make their voices heard in November where a ballot question is expected to appear, asking if they want to move forward with the repairs. A yes vote means the city has the voters support. If voters say no, then further discussions will need to be had.

“I think Toledoans understand the need for this type of investment but if it doesn’t go that way then we will have to shift the way that we think about the improvements to the plant and focus on what’s most critical,” said Arnold.

Ultimately, the City hopes to lay out its own timeline for making the fixes, probably close to two decades. The hope is not to be forced into a tighter and more costly timeline by the federal government, something the City saw through the Toledo waterways initiative and that consent decree.

“If we can get the support of the community and really start moving forward strategically on this plan, this is 15 to 20 year investment,” said Arnold. “We think by making these improvements and moving forward now continues to show good faith to our partners at the EPA and allows us to keep from getting in that type of situation.”

All of those cost discussions will also focus around making sure that if water and sewer rates do go up, that it’s not a drastic increase.

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