WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Officials in Trumbull County are currently looking into whether certain county water districts have been subsidizing shortfalls in others.
Trumbull County Commissioners said it was brought to their attention by Engineer Randy Smith that there is a possibility water and/or sewer funds received from some districts were used to supplement others that fell short. Smith said they have data from a three-year period, but his office is looking into the questions commissioners have asked and they will seek legal direction on how to proceed.
“If there was not a loan in place or there was not some other legal opinion that gave one district the legal authority to subsidize or supplement another district, then we will have to proceed from there,”Trumbull County Comissioner Mauro Cantalamessa said.
Commissioner Frank Fuda said they will be meeting with Randy Smith as soon as possible to go over the specifics.
“He is going over the billing and making sure that every water district is whole and paying for itself and not subsidizing through other districts,” Cantalamessa said.
Public records show that in 2012, Howland Water overpaid more than $86,000, which is the same amount that Mosquito Creek underpaid.
The next year, Mineral Ridge fell short by $85,000, but Brookfield Water made up for it. And in 2014, Howland Water overpaid once again, this time by $72,000 and making up for Warren and Champion’s deficit.
“The reason it is happening is the rates basically are not supporting the district. The rates are not at a number that is sufficient,” Trumbull County Assistant Sanitary Engineer Scott Verner said.
Here is a breakdown of the county’s water districts and their rates according to a handout given by Verner:
- Bazetta Water District, $9.53 per 1,000 gallons
- Brookfield Water District, $8.22 per 1,000 gallons
- Champion Water District, $9.53 per 1,000 gallons
- Four Township Water District, $8.22 per 1,000 gallons
- Howland Water District, $6.86 per 1,0000 gallons
- Hubbard Water District, $8.22 per 1,000 gallons
- Mineral Ridge Water District, $8.98 per 1,000 gallons
- Mosquito Creek Water District, $9.56 per 1,000 gallons
- Warren Township Water District, $7.54 per 1,000 gallons
- Bracveville Township Water District, $8.05 per 1,000 gallons