Rossford mayor addresses water ratesWritten by Administrator | | firstname.lastname@example.org
TO THE EDITOR,
On Feb. 27, 2009, the City of Toledo imposed upon the City of Rossford a non-contract water rate of Toledo first block rate (Toledo resident rate) plus 125 percent, and increase of 140 percent over our recently expired 2008 water contract.
Toledo justifies this increase because the two sides were not able to come to a mutually agreed revenue sharing agreement revision. The revision basically meant agreeing to Toledo’s insistence on raising its already 27 percent share of Rossford income tax collected in a 1992 JEDZ agreement to 40 percent and a phase-in water rate increase of 130 percent over four years. In return, Rossford receives no additional consideration for our increasing costs associated with development in the Crossroads area.
Rossford spent millions of dollars on its own infrastructure, including water and sewer lines to the Crossroads, without Toledo supplying anything but water.
Toledo stressed in its negotiation with the city of Rossford the need to be consistent as it deals with others for water. I, however, have asked the following question during a number of meetings: Can the City of Toledo show us any current municipality/entity with a tax sharing zone the size of Rossford’s paying a 40/60 percent split on a 2.25 percent income tax rate with its residents paying Toledo’s first block rate plus a 115 percent surcharge. To date, no one in Toledo has been able to answer that question to Rossford.
Rossford has received both verbal and written communication from Toledo telling us they are going to shut off our water to the Crossroads anywhere from one to two years from now. That seems a little heavy-handed to me.
It is unfortunate while the Mayor of Toledo touts regional cooperation, Rossford, who was one of the first to partner with Toledo as far back as 1992 for revenue sharing, now suffers from it. The proposed agreement that Toledo offered places Rossford in a competitive disadvantage to its Wood County neighbors for future economic development. Rossford is willing to pay its fair share of a water increase, but just doesn’t want to be held hostage in doing so.
It appears that the citizens of Rossford will have to endure punitive water rates until Toledo will work with Rossford on a fair and logical approach to water. I don’t believe that is too much to ask.
WILLIAM VERBOSKY JR. Mayor, City of Rossford