Sunday, March 21, 2010


Certain Stark County users' water utility costs could go sky-high come next January.

How's that?

Aqua Ohio/America, Inc., has announced to the Stark County commissioners that the company will be requesting a 20% hike in its water rates effective January, 2011.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the Aqua letter to commissioners:

A little background about Aqua Ohio/America, Inc. ("America" being the parent company) courtesy of North Canton community activist Chuck Osborne:
Aqua Ohio, Inc. is Ohio’s largest investor owned water utility. It provides drinking water and wastewater services to nearly 84,000 customers (nearly 250,000 people) in five counties from surface and groundwater supplies.

Was most recently known as Consumers Ohio Water Company until it merged with Philadelphia Suburban Corporation (PSC) in 1999. PSC was renamed Aqua America, Inc., in 2004, and Consumers Ohio Water Company became Aqua Ohio.

Is the nation’s largest U.S. based publicly-traded water company. Aqua America is a holding company for regulated utilities providing water or wastewater services in thirteen states.
Other than what subscribers it has in North Canton, Aqua also buys water from North Canton.  Osborne has been critical of the Aqua/North Canton contract and the SCPR will be doing a blog on his work and North Canton City Council's "apparent" unwillingness to protect the North Canton taxpayers.

But the topic of this blog is whether or not Stark County local governments (Jackson, Lake, Perry, Plain Tuscarawas, Hills and Dales, Massillon, and North Canton will protect its residents from this huge (20%/all-at-once) increase.

Not long ago American Electric Power (AEP) and First Energy worked over its consumers of electric power for a gigantic increase.  However, that increase was over three years (AEP); not just in one year as is the quest of Aqua.

On the AEP issue a few local government officials worked big-time to keep the AEP increase within reason.

Who were those officials?

The two main ones were Commissioner Todd Bosley and Trustee Louis Giavasis (Plain Township) with special SCPR accolades going to Giavasis.  Moreover, community activists William Daugherty and Kevin Ellis were effective to tamp down on the AEP effort.

It looks as if the Stark County commissioners are going to lead the way in a fight for the county's 2,000 plus Aqua customers.

Massillon has 13,000 plus Aqua users and one would expect Mayor Cicchinelli and Massillon City Council to fight this increase big time within the hearing structure provided by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

What will Stark's other - affected -  local governments of Jackson, Lake, Lawrence, Plain, Hills and Dales and North Canton do for their people?

Here is a video clip showing Commissioner Bosley's and Meek's reaction:


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