LIMA — The idea of creating a regional water and sewer district in Allen County is still being considered, but commissioners want to see demand for it from county residents before moving forward.
That was the message during a Tuesday meeting between commissioners and representatives from the Allen Water District and the Allen County Sanitary Engineer’s Office. The commissioners were presented with the final draft of a feasibility study conducted thanks to a $50,000 state grant, which indicated that consolidating the water and sewer districts into a Ohio Revised Code 6119-based regional water and sewer district is feasible.
“The consensus in that study is that it’s feasible to consolidate those and it definitely has some benefit,” Allen Water District general counsel Rex Huffman said. “Now, after discussing with commissioners, they want to hear from their constituents in villages and townships that we’ve communicated with before and hear what their view is. So we’ll go to the villages and townships again to talk to them about the feasibility study and what this would mean for them.”
Under this section of the revised code, a regional water and sewer district would be its own separate entity managed by a board comprised of representatives from participating townships and municipalities. Any political subdivision would be able to participate or not, according to Huffman.
“It allows the communities that have a need for sanitary sewer or distribution of water to join an entity that can help them provide that service,” he said. “There are a lot of options and opportunities for villages to get their water needs fulfilled.”
Discussions into an ORC 6119-based water and sewer district in Putnam County were abandoned last year over perceived concerns from residents over having a non-electable board directing the agency. Huffman, however, believes this format could be beneficial, especially for smaller municipalities and townships struggling to compete for state and federal grants as well as complying with Environmental Protection Agency mandates.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.