Warren Council OKs Water Agreements for Energy Facility
Warren City Council unanimously approved three ordinances Wednesday to supply water for the Trumbull Energy Center, the $950 million natural gas facility to be constructed in Lordstown by Clean Energy Future, a Boston-based energy producer.
The ordinances authorize Mayor Doug Franklin and Enzo Cantalamessa, director of public service and safety, to complete contracts to sell water to Lordstown and negotiate an agreement with the company to fund infrastructure costs, construction needs and capital improvements.
Water Department Director Franco Lucarelli told council the city would supply six miles of water main and upgrade its water treatment plant at the cost of $6 million, all to be paid by Clean Energy Future.
“This will cost Warren and the water department nothing,” Lucarelli said.
Steven Remillard, CEF vice president-development, said the company expects to complete financing for the Trumbull Energy Center either late this year or early next year with groundbreaking likely by mid-2020. The plant will be located near CEF’s companion plant, the Lordstown Energy Center, which opened late last year.
“This will create 500 construction jobs for 36 months,” Remillard told council, adding that when completed and operational, the center will employ “22-25 jobs.” His time frame indicates a completion and operations date by mid-2023 if everything stays on schedule.
Lucarelli told 21 News that it would be one or two months before the city can determine “the final agreements for the rate structure” that will establish how much the facility will pay Warren for the water. That could be substantial based on a statement to council by John Brown, D-3rd.
“(It) will require 4.3 million gallons daily,” Brown said.
Water and sewage were on the minds of several Warren residents who addressed council Wednesday, but their comments had nothing to do with economic development and everything to do with flooding. Many homeowners reported sewage backups in their basement following the heavy rains September 13. One of them, Mike Kassander, Hamilton Southwest, said his basement has already flooded four times this year.
“I’m at a loss,” the exasperated homeowner told council, a complaint echoed by several other residents who graphically described the sewage backup.
Edward Haller, city director of water pollution control, called the downpour “a 50-year storm.” Haller said readings at the city’s water treatment plant showed rainfall of 3.2 inches in an hour, but some residents reported substantially more.
“We’ve had some reports of up to seven inches in an hour,” he said but added those estimates are not official.
Dan Sferra, D-at large, has set up a meeting for next Monday, September 30, at 5 p.m. in council chambers to discuss the flooding situation. Sferra has invited members of the public to attend the committee meeting.
Meanwhile, Haller said the city has seven sewer projects and studies at various stages. Two are currently bid, three are in design and two are in study.
When completed, the projects “will reduce flooding in the city,” Haller said.