Elmore council to vote on waterline project 11/22/2021

By: 
Larry Limpf

Elmore Village Council will vote Nov. 22 on an ordinance authorizing the administration to enter into an agreement with Ottawa County to explore the feasibility of extending the county’s regional water distribution system to the village.
Mayor Rick Claar said the ordinance would be a preliminary step in a project that, if constructed, could be financed in part with grants and low-interest loans.
Claar said he favors the project because it is possible the Environmental Protection Agency in the future may find the village’s municipal well system is not meeting standards for treating drinking water.
“We are looking at receiving close to $4.5 million in grant money for a waterline to the county system,” the mayor said. “We don’t want to be in a position of turning down more than $4.5 million in free money and then coming back to the (village) taxpayers and telling them the EPA is now mandating very costly improvements or a whole new treatment plant that the taxpayers will then be liable for building either through increased taxes or through assessments. The regional system already meets or exceeds EPA standards the EPA puts out.”
The ordinance notes that the county’s distribution system currently extends west to the Materion Corp. plant on W. Portage River South Road about four miles from the village limits.
A resolution authorizing the preparation of preliminary engineering plans, cost estimates and specifications for extending the Ottawa County Regional Water supply to the village has already been approved by the county commissioners.
The resolution, approved Aug. 10, follows a conference call earlier that month between county and village officials and representatives of Poggemeyer Design Group, an engineering firm, to discuss the proposal.
The village ordinance will be forwarded to the county commissioners. A similar ordinance had been passed by a 3-1 vote of council earlier this month but a majority of the 6-member council is needed to officially pass legislation. The second vote is being taken on the advice of the village solicitor, the mayor said.
The village currently has four municipal water wells.
According to the Ottawa County 2020 annual report, a staff of 40 employees is responsible for the operation of a 9-million-gallon-per-day regional water treatment plant, three 500,000-gallon elevated water storage towers and more than 184 miles of water transmission and distribution mains serving the City of Port Clinton, Village of Oak Harbor and portions of seven townships, including Danbury, Catawba Island, Portage, Erie, Bay, Salem and Harris.

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