BOWLING GREEN, Ohio, – The Northwestern Water and Sewer District (The District) Board of Trustees today unanimously approved a resolution to begin the merger process with the Henry County Regional Water and Sewer District (HCRWSD). The decision was instigated by The Henry County Regional Water and Sewer District, based upon the costs of keeping up with increasing state and federal regulations and lack of resources to maintain a quality system.
Longtime District Board Member John Cheney said, ”The Northwestern Water and Sewer District prides itself on improving water and sewer infrastructure in Northwestern Ohio, especially in rural communities that face the challenge of increasing costs and regulations to provide clean, safe water.”
According to HCRWSD Treasurer, Amy Behrman, “Over the past several months, we’ve realized operating funds were insufficient and the HCRWSD was unable to generate cash for repairs or make payments on our loans.”
The HCRWSD board felt it was in the best interest of its customers to move forward with the merge. Henry County Commissioner, Glenn Miller attended today’s District board meeting to support the merger. According to Miller “I believe merging makes sense, it’s a positive for the citizens of Henry County as well as The Northwestern Water and Sewer District.”
The Next Steps
The HCRWSD and The District are currently in the process of negotiating a temporary agreement for assuming operations and billing. Both districts aim to reach this agreement as soon as possible.
The Northwestern Water and Sewer District is also in the process of reviewing the HCRWSD’s assets and billing practices. This review process could take up to three months. The District will also determine board representation from the Henry County area.
Upon completion of this review, a final agreement between the districts would be signed and The Northwestern Water and Sewer District would maintain and operate the system.
25 years ago, The District was formed by the Wood County Commissioners to regionalize the resources needed to maintain public water and sewer infrastructure. The District was formed because of the need to share operation and maintenance costs.
Since 1994, The Northwestern Water and Sewer District has grown from serving 5,000 customers in Wood County to serving over 19,800 residential and industrial customers in Wood, Hancock and Sandusky Counties.
The Henry County Regional Water and Sewer District provides water to 485 customers and 358 sewer customers. The HCRWSD service area includes most townships in Henry County, with the exception of Ridgeville Township, and serves Providence Township in Lucas County.