Youngstown council to consider $1.4 million settlement of water - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown council to consider $1.4 million settlement of water fund lawsuit

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

City leaders will begin to hear legislation this week on an ordinance that would settle a lawsuit against Youngstown. 

Proposed legislation on the agenda for city council's meeting on Wednesday would authorize $1,450,000 to be utilized to settle the litigation. 

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of four plaintiffs in 2016, alleges that city leaders misused approximately $4 million in wastewater funds for economic development projects. 

That complaint argues that water customers be charged "based upon the actual and projected expenses and operational costs of the water department in providing the water and sewer utilities, and for such expenses and costs authorized by Ohio statutory law." 

Though there are five listed complainants on the lawsuit, the filing says it is on behalf of "all customers of the Youngstown Water Department that have been charged and paid a water and/or wastewater bill within the last eight years."

The proposed ordinance before city council would allow legal counsel for the city to enter into an agreement with the plaintiffs. 

However, the language of the proposal would allow the city to either apply $1,450,000 in credits to the accounts of water customers or transfer 1.45 million dollars from the city's general fund into the water fund. 

Should the legislation go through, the city would also agree to pay all court costs and "reasonable" attorney fees. 

The legislation provides for the fact that the settlement does not equate to culpability, and no party walks away determined a winner. 

The proposal does not specify how the money would be divided throughout the water accounts. 

21 News has reached out to the attorney for the plaintiffs, who declined to comment.  

The entire 2016 lawsuit can be seen here: 

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