Issue: November 2006 Issue
Bridge over troubled water
Despite Cleveland Mayor Frank Jacksonâ€™s knack for campaigning, it was not without a little surprise that in late September he was in the grand ballroom of the Tangier restaurant speaking to the Akron Roundtable about how he wants the two cities to better collaborate to attract businesses and, perhaps, even link into Clevelandâ€™s water system.
Historically, Cleveland offered its water lines to surrounding suburbs, only charging for the cost of service.
But as the water lines age, Cleveland suburbs are discovering they donâ€™t have the funds to repair and replace them. Jackson is renegotiating water agreements with the 57 municipalities and townships in Cuyahoga County to share in their tax dollars if they want the city to repair, replace and extend service. Jackson would also like to expand the borders of that agreement.
â€œIf any municipality in Cuyahoga County or Summit, Medina or Lake County, wherever it is, if they are being serviced by our water, and they want to enter into this agreement, weâ€™ll gladly do it,â€ Jackson says.
Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, who has tax-sharing agreements with surrounding communities for his cityâ€™s water service, didnâ€™t rule out working with Cleveland on this economic development issue.
â€œThe mayor says itâ€™s not totally out of the question, maybe somewhere down the road,â€ says Plusquellic spokesman Mark Williamson. â€œHe has had discussions with them.â€
This record has been viewed 729