What's next for Toledo's Regional Water Commission?

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo is one step closer to the formation of its new Regional Water Commission.

"We're tremendously pleased and humbled that the voters of Toledo so overwhelmingly supported Issue 15," Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said.

Under this commission, surrounding suburbs would be invited to help negotiate the rates they pay for their citizen's water.

"Our customers, understandably and correctly, want more of a say in the process," added Kapszukiewicz. "They deserve it because they've invested in our system."

Passing Issue 15 was only the first step in the process of forming a Regional Water Commission.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz said City Council still needs to pass a few ordinances before getting the commission up and running. Once passed, the suburbs would be able to sign on.

While there's some excitement in the city, some people aren't too sure. Some say the Toledo Area Water Authority would have been a better option.

"An authority would have really allowed for the widesweeping changes that we see as necessary to the management of the water systems," Wendy Grazma, President and CEO of the Toledo Area of Commerce said.

Some suburbs are worried Toledo will still have the final say in water rates: rates that might not be ideal for the citizens.

"If they are willing to discuss that contract and make some changes to it, then Toledo would be a possible alternative," Mayor Richard Carr of Maumee said. "A lot of it at this point is going to come down to what the cost is going to be."

Mayor Carr also said Maumee is looking at alternative water sources.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz said once council passes the necessary ordinances, the suburbs will be able to sign a contract to join the Regional Water Commission. He said this could come as early as the end of the year.