Customer credits approved in Youngstown Water Department settlem - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Customer credits approved in Youngstown Water Department settlement

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A visiting judge Monday approved a final settlement in the class action filed on behalf of Youngstown water department customers.  The action had challenged the city over the use of surplus water funds to issue grants to private parties for development projects.

A final hearing was held in common pleas court to determine whether the settlement is fair and equitable. . The settlement, which was reached after six months of mediation, provides for the issuance of credits totaling $1.4 million to be made in equal amounts to each customer. With just over 51,000 customers it appears the credit will average just under twenty eight dollars.

The settlement also places restrictions on how surplus water funds can and cannot be used going forward  City Law director Jeff Limbian says it does not totally eliminate that funding tool for attracting new development.

"Generally speaking, as long as it's up to the building it's OK for water funds, if it's inside the building it's more narrowly defined," Limbian said.

A privately operated student housing project near YSU was completed using grants from surplus water funds, and other projects using that formula are still underway in the city.  A Double Tree Hotel by Hilton, and the Amphitheater west of the Market Street bridge.

Limbian says while it's still an option, he knows Mayor Tito Brown plans to be very prudent in the use of water funds, and making sure it conforms with 
policy and procedures.

Under the settlement, the city is on the hook for all court costs and legal fees, which could be substantial, but less than had the case not been settled.   


 

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