City council makes regional water demands

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The hope for a regional water system is not dead after several Toledo city council members say they're still open to the idea.

Now it's down to the small details.

Before council votes at the end of August about whether to put a charter vote in your hands this November, they wanted some answers of their own. That started with monthly payments and help for senior citizens.

Some council members pushed for electronic monitoring systems. Councilman Nick Komives wants help for low-income water customers.

"The mayor has assured me that in his plan, those things will be addressed, as well as minimums and starting to move us towards monthly billing," Komives said.

"The compromise approach is something that I like. My main goal is to take the politics out of running water," councilman Tom Waniewski said.

That's why there's some support growing for a rate-setting board with only experts, no politicians.

The Toledo Waterways Initiative took up about an hour of today's council meeting. And while some projects are coming in well under budget, like the Ottawa River Storage Facility at about $10 million under budget. Other projects like International Park are over budget.

"The International Park situation is one that is frustrating from a business standpoint because they have a lot going on there," Waniewski said. "But when you look at how old everything is under the road."

That's why councilman Tom Waniewski hopes that when it's fixed, no other work will be needed there for generations.

"I think in this large of a project, coming in this close and on target in the way that we have, is commendable to our city services," Komives said.

Even with all the work of the Toledo Waterways Initiative to clean up wastewater and prevent Lake Erie pollution, it didn't matter this year. A wet spring and hot start to summer caused an early season algae bloom.