Westlake City Council, Mayor Clough Speak Out on Water Dept. Controversy

Westlake City Council President Michael Killeen and Mayor Dennis Clough addressed the controversy surrounding the city’s relationship with the Cleveland Water Dept. at the Oct. 3 City Council Meeting.

Killeen directed comments on the issue of a letter from the city of Cleveland Water department sent to all Westlake residents regarding a proposed substantial, additional charge on water bills due to an alleged termination of the agreement with Cleveland by the city of Westlake.

Killeen clarified that the city of Westlake has not terminated the agreement but has been doing extensive studies of switching water suppliers and/or having joint suppliers, the legal ramifications of which are also still in discovery. Residents are rightly concerned, he noted. However, a decision has not been made at this time.

Mayor Clough announced that there will be a community meeting to present the study process that has been underway and to answer questions regarding this matter. He stated there is no legal basis for the charges outlined in the letter and that the city continues to study alternatives of water suppliers

Mayor Clough also stated that a press release he made regarding the water issue has been posted on the city’s website and that additional information would be posted as it becomes available.

In the release, Mayor Clough expresses displeasure “with the way the City of Cleveland is trying to punish or scare Westlake residents……….simply because we have requested proposals from the City of Cleveland and Avon Lake Utilities to be joint suppliers of bulk water to Westlake.”

Clough notes, “We have not terminated any agreement an simply wish to consider all alternatives.”

Clough also cites frustration with Cleveland Water. “Even though I have requested numerous times to become a master-metered city as permitted by Article 14 of the existing contract, Cleveland has been unable to provide us with a draft agreement and instead continues to request us to execute a new agreement that would require us to surrender more than 65 million dollars in city-owned (taxpayer assets) waterlines or infrastructure at no cost and in addition sign an agreement to share new taxes generated by relocated businesses to Westlake. This is not the way to treat any of your customers.”

The press release may be seen at this link:

http://www.cityofwestlake.org/pdfs/MayorsOffice/water_info/Press_Release.pdf

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