Liberty Township seeks water rate equality - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Liberty Township seeks water rate equality

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LIBERTY TWP, Ohio -

Liberty Township is hoping for changes in a long-term contract which causes people to pay higher water rates depending on where they live in the township.

Liberty trustee Jodi Stoyak says people in the northern part of Liberty who get water from Girard are paying much higher rates than people who get their water from Youngstown. 

Girard pays Niles a 40% surcharge for water and then adds a 40% charge for Liberty customers.

A Youngstown customer pays $7.89 per thousand gallons of water, while the Girard supplied customer pays more than $12.00 for the same thousand gallons. 

 "It's not fair. We deserve fair pricing for all of our residents," Stoyak said.  

Girard Mayor James Melfi said as a member of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District Youngstown, water is cheaper. Whereas Girard pays different prices from three different water suppliers.

"I would love to be able to offer my residents and then, in turn, offer Weathersfield and Liberty residents the same cost the citizens from Niles and Youngstown pa,y but the system isn't set up that way. We are not a member of the MVSD," said Melfi.

The mayor said Girard rates have to cover the cost of running a water system and making infrastructure improvements.

"You just can't expect the city of Girard to say OK, we're going to invest millions of dollars in infrastructure and oh, by the way, we're going to charge you a price that's going to be less than we can actually draw and pay for that cost," Melfi said.

A new contract for water service between Girard and Trumbull County is up for renewal in 2020, and Liberty Administrator Pat Ungaro would like to see a more equitable arrangement.

"Somehow that contract, if it's renewed, has to be amended to make it as fair as possible," Ungaro said.

A meeting between all parties to the contract is expected in the near future.
 

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