My topic this week is the City of Sandusky suing Erie County.
It is unfortunate that a lawsuit had to be filed. As for the water rate furnished to the county, I don’t know how low Sandusky can go with their water rate without giving the water away.
In this case, when two entities don’t see eye-to-eye, the taxpayer will suffer a double financial loss because the two entities share the same taxpayer. In the end, it will cost us through increased water bills.
Years ago, the city had an over abundance of funds in their water and sewer funds and now there is only about half that amount in the funds. The last rate increase was in 2003, and it was supposed to be over a three-year program. The funds are depleting at a rapid rate, and we need to replenish those funds. It is not if the water rates will increase but when they will increase.
Both entities need each other while trying to maintain their own identities, which is a difficult balance. There are often times when both entities must work together to utilize funds that are available to them in order to get a project done. It takes teamwork, cooperation, and communication. No matter what happens, the two entities need to find a way to coexist for the sake of the taxpayer
The water contract between the two entities provides for tools to be in place and different avenues to take when looking at amendments or disputes. There is a Board of Review and arbitration to handle any disputes before even taking the dispute all the way to court.
Until next time, we hope the lawsuit can be settled out of court and the two sides start to communicate in a professional manner.