CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) – The idea of selling the Campbell Water Treatment Plant to Aqua Ohio was first brought up in late 2017. Campbell and Aqua have been talking and are now close to a deal. Thursday night, those living in Campbell were given their say.
Plenty of residents packed the meeting to learn more about the proposal for Aqua Ohio to supply water to their city.
At first, it seemed the crowd was split on what to do about the water system. But as the meeting progressed, it seemed as if the residents started to warm up to the idea.
As of now, the city has two options, go with Aqua or take out a loan to make repairs to its current water system.
“I feel confident after hearing the details about the deal and getting asked their questions that the city and the administration do feel that this is the best option for the city’s water department going forward,” said Aqua Ohio area manager Jennifer Johnson.
Johnson says the proposal states that the rates will remain the same for the average water user for the next five years. Anybody under the average will see a decrease and anybody over the average will see a slight increase. The average household uses around 3,200 gallons a month.
“But that rate structure will be frozen in place for five years at that time. We will roll them in to the Aqua Struthers rate structure. They will have a seat at the table for when we negotiate that rate plan for 2025 and beyond,” Johnson said.
Campbell Council President George Levendis says council believes this is the best option for the city.
“I think we’re at the point now and the realization that we need to move forward and sell our water plant,” Levendis said.
Campbell Mayor Nick Phillips expressed to the crowd that he doesn’t want to sell the plant but realized it may be the best option.
“After doing a long, extensive study with our consulting agency, it was found to be the repairs throughout the system [were] going to be much more expensive than we anticipated,” he said.
If the city decides to not go with Aqua, they are looking at $18 million over the next 20 years. They have until July 1 to make a decision.