Bitter battle over water in Westlake

Bitter battle over water in Westlake

WESTLAKE, OH (WOIO) - If you live in Westlake you know that the Cahoon Nursery along Detroit Avenue uses a lot of water and if a new deal isn't reached with Westlake's water supplier, the city of Cleveland, businesses could see their quarterly bill go up as much as $600 to $5,000.

Homeowners are looking at almost a $300 quarterly increase.

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough says "I think they are trying to take this out of the court and make this a political issue in an attempt to punish our residents and we are supposed to be one of their best customers."

Westlake wants to own their water by buying it in bulk or running a master meter.

Mayor Clough says it will save residents anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the bill.

The mayor's willing to negotiate with Cleveland but is also talking to Avon Lake.

A judge is ruling on when Westlake can leave their 25 year old water contract with Cleveland in two or five years.

Cleveland is willing to talk but says they are getting mixed signals from Westlake.

Cleveland Public Utilities Director Paul Bender says "The fees that we are proposing are to recover costs that will have to be passed on to other customers.  Either Westlake pays for it or their customers or others will have to pay for it. It's just pure cost recovery that is all it is."

If a deal is not reached and you live in Westlake you could see the higher water bills arrive early next year.

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