Greene County may still walk away from water contract with Xenia after weeks of negotiations

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XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Greene County has put the City of Xenia on notice August 28th that it will not renew its water contract when it expires in 2018 potentially costing the city nearly 700-thousand dollars annually.

Negotiations between the city and county have been ongoing for about three weeks.  Now the county has put out an informal request for proposal to accept bids to service their water supplies for the eastern section of the county.

The city Xenia and Greene County have had a contract for nearly 20-years where the city supplies the county with water for Cedarville, Wilberforce and Shawnee Hills.

“We’re talking about a finite commodity.  You know water is not a major major problem in our region, but there are limitations to everything, so getting a system in place that benefits everybody, that provides adequate supply for everybody, to be able to have a growth factor is important, so we feel like the excess capacity that Xenia has where we can provide those water resources to Eastern Greene,” Xenia City Manager Brent Merriman said.

Under the current contract the city charges a 50-percent surcharge to the county, putting Greene County underwater by $150,000 every year.  Driving county officials to insisting on a lower rate that would allow them to break even.

As an alternative to renewing its contract, the county would build onto its own system, at a cost of $6.5 million, which would impact water bills for Xenia and Greene county residents alike.  City of Xenia bills going up, while other Greene County residents’ bills go down slightly.

The deadline to submit proposals to provide 2.5 million gallons of water per day for five, 10 and 20 years to the county is September 28th.

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