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Cleveland says Westlake water switch costly

4:37 PM, Dec 15, 2011   |    comments
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WESTLAKE -- Westlake water customers would pay 18 to 20 percent more for water if the city switches from Cleveland's system to Avon Lake's, according to a new study,

ARCADIS, an independent consultant analyzed the cost of the switch .

The study claims there would be a $17 million cost to severe Cleveland water connections with Westlake's neighboring communities. The system would pass that cost to Westlake.

Westlake would also be responsible for $39 million in stranded costs.

Westlake has claimed the switch would result in lower rates and more reliable service.

The study claims a switch to Avon Lake would lose Westlake's capacity to have multiple back-up connections in emergencies.

"Westlake should do what is in the best interest of Westlake, " said city Chief of Operations Darnell Brown." We believe , and this reports supports us, that what is best for the residents of Westlake is to stay with CWD."

Westlake sent its conclusions to Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough.

He tells Channel 3 News , he has confidence in a study done for Westlake which claims a switch would be less expensive for customers .

He claims Westlake owns 80 to 90 percent of its waterlines and a switch would make sense with such infrastucture.

Westlake is now in negotiations with Avon Lake. Clough claims the Cleveland system's claims will not deter a switch.

"I'm surprised at their response. I'm surprised they are so concerned about us," he said.

Cleveland's city water system is already faced with declining usage, and any city leaving for another system would be a significant loss.

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