Progress is being delayed unnecessarily.
The city of Huron is dragging its heels on a regional water agreement and we can't understand why.
2006 will end without Huron ratifying its end of the three-way water agreement with Sandusky and Erie County. Both of the other two entities have heard the call of regionalization and stepped up and approved the agreement.
Approving the agreement will set up a board that will make water policy for Erie County. Three people each from the county, Huron and Sandusky will sit on the regional water board. Huron may also provide water cheaper and longer to the county as part of the agreement. The county currently buys water from Huron at a fairly high rate that officials are trying to negotiate down.
In this space we have called upon each of these groups to approve the water deal, on the grounds it makes sense financially and organizationally. It also shows a spirit of cooperation in the interests of regionalization, which we have thoroughly supported. Working together, when possible, is the best choice. And this is an area where they can work together. Water supply and demand is a common issue important for different reasons to each community involved in this proposed deal. The county needs water, and the cities can make money by providing it.
What does not make sense is why Huron is moving so slowly on the deal. Both Sandusky and the county approved the deal earlier this fall.
Huron officials say the agreement is still on their radar screen.
"We had every intention of having the agreement finished by now, but with everything we've been dealing with budget-wise and with a limited staff, it was not possible," Huron City Manager Andy White said.
White told reporter Wayne Baker that city officials will likely discuss the agreement at council's next meeting, Jan. 9, and then will approve it on Jan. 23.
Let's hope Huron will stick to this long delayed plan and get the deal moving. We understand the need for a governmental body to do its due diligence and we understand the budget process was a little difficult for the city but its now time for the water agreement. Cities have to be able to multi-task. There is no reason all of this could not have been done concurrently.
Moving forward on the deal will set in place a great example of regionalization. We cannot wait to see how it works, and have every reason to believe it will be successful.
In future endeavors, Huron needs to not move at such a snail's pace. This is an important issue that should have been resolved long ago. Let's hope the city does not do this on other important matters.