Company proposal to purchase Youngstown's water system - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Company proposal to purchase Youngstown's water system

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

With much Ohio's water infrastructure out of date, it is estimated that the state would need to spend at least 12 billion dollars in the next twenty years to replace the aging infrastructure.

Aqua Ohio, part of Aqua America, is a company that buys city's water systems and updates them.

The company already owns water systems around the Valley, and has begun reaching out to the City of Youngstown as one of their next investments.

The company's president, Edmund Kolodziej, believes that their purchase of Youngstown's water system would help the city.

"The way we look at it from the outside- you have priorities that come as a result of water, and you have priorities that are elsewhere in the city, and that's the deficit, the jobs, the prevention of layoffs, and other priorities in the community," says Kolodziej, "So with working with us, we can take care of the water priorities and let the city take care of all the other things that the residents need".

Aqua Ohio plans to help fix the water delivery systems by investing 5 to 7 million dollars per year to replace pipes and increase reliability.

The company says it's too early to say if water bills would increase for residents.

Kolodeziej says that "the key question is that any municipality has to answer is that as water systems age they are going to require a level of capital investment that are going to push rates up, and what is that alternate relative to a regulated option"

Mayor Mcnally says he forwarded the proposal to his finance and law directors. Mayor-elect Tito Brown says he wants to look into the proposal further before commenting.

More information about the company can be found at http://www.waterforohio.com/. 

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