OTTAWA — Putnam County Commissioners approved a resolution Thursday to transfer the ownership of the county’s waterlines to the Village of Ottawa.
Commissioner John Schlumbohm previously approached the village during Monday’s council meeting, requesting the village take ownership of the county’s waterlines, which they approved.
During Monday’s meeting, Ottawa Mayor Dean Meyer said the village taking over the water system will save taxpayer money.
“The county is turning over their east side water system to the village, which will save a lot of money for residents because it will be absorbed into our system as opposed to having another water system outside of the village that the county owns,” Meyer said.
The village will take ownership today for the waterline along U.S. Route 224 and serves residents in the areas of the Putnam County Airport, Oak Haven Residential Care and Nelson Manufacturing as well as the Village of Bluffton and the waterline north of Ottawa on state Route 65.
“We will not have to bill residents anymore, which takes work out of this office, which is good,” Schlumbohm said during Thursday’s commissioners meeting. “I think it is a win-win, and the village will maintain the waterlines from here on out as well as if anything breaks or EPA testing,” Schlumbohm said.
He said the county does not have the expertise or staff to do the water testing.
The village handled the county’s water system until Dec. 31 and a contract was not in place, so Columbus Grove stepped in temporarily to help out.
Commissioner Michael Lammers said the village owning the waterlines is positive.
“It’s good for the village and residents of Putnam County, and moving forward, the village has the expertise and manpower to continue serving the public at a cost-effective price,” Lammers said.
The resolution states Putnam County and the village of Ottawa will need to have the transfer approved by the EPA and no debt or financial liability owed by the commissioners related in any way to the waterline will be transferred or to be accepted by Ottawa. Upon acceptance of the transfer of the waterline, Ottawa becomes the operator.
In other business, the commission opened bids for water services improvement projects at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. The commission received nine bids and will review.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.