By Bryan Wroten
Avon Lake Municipal Utilities has been working on a draft agreement to provide water to the city of Westlake at that city’s request.
The draft agreement is the product of a letter sent by Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough to ALMU board Chairman Dave Marquard II in April.
Though near finished, the draft agreement isn’t ready for public review yet, said Todd Danielson, ALMU’s chief utilities executive. He has discussed the draft with the Board of Municipal Utilities but hasn’t shared copies of it with them, he said, so it’s not yet a public record. It’s his responsibility to handle the details, he said, and the board is there to handle the general guidelines, overall policies and major aspects of the agreement.
“It’s at a stage where I’m going to send over a draft (to Westlake) within the next few days,” he said on Friday. “It will be public then. It could be as early as today, but most likely next week.”
ALMU has been cautious in its work on the agreement as Westlake is still working on severing its ties to the Cleveland Division of Water.
The agreement will outline that Westlake residents would pay the same amount as Avon Lake residents plus the normal 10 percent for customers outside of Avon Lake, he said, as well as additional charges for operation and construction. Westlake’s agreement would be different from agreements with other outside customers in that Westlake’s charter does not allow for agreements beyond 25 years, and typical ALMU agreements are for 40 years.
To supply enough water to Westlake, ALMU would have to set up temporary capacity for the city through its existing transmission lines (ETL1 and ETL2) to the south while it builds a new
transmission line. Westlake is a growing community and will need more water than it does right now, Danielson said, so a new transmission line would be necessary.
“A new ETL would be major work,” he said, estimating the cost to be between $8 and $10 million. “That would include a pumping station and a new ETL and routing, and there’d be easements to secure. It’s not a light undertaking.”
Having a longer-term construction project like that would allow other municipalities to join in during the design stage and share the construction cost, he said. ALMU isn’t hunting for new customers, he said, but that’s when it would make the most sense for another city to come on board.
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