At least one North Canton resident thinks City leaders are not minding the store for the benefit of North Canton's families and businesses on the City water supply.
And that resident is not someone who has not done "gallons and gallons" of research on the topic. This citizen appears to The Report to be better informed on the topic than some folks within North Canton city government with direct responsibility.
Yes, he is at it again. Being a total annoyance to city administrators and councilpersons. Who, who and who, again is this person? Former Councilman Chuck Osborne that's who!
The SCPR believes that Osborne has completely embarrassed City officials on his revelations at weekly Council meeting of late and has been effective to get a few changes that are to the benefit of city residents and businesses.
However, Osborne himself does not believe that he has been effective enough.
Here is a list of what Osborne thinks still needs to be done to make the proposed new contract worthwhile for North Cantonians:
- One: Water rates charged to Aqua should be handled as any other BULK WATER user and subject to rate increases as any other water customer the city serves. Restricting rate increases to Aqua will add inequities to the city’s water rate structure as other water user’s rates are increased at a higher rate over time and create greater problems in the future.
- Two: The water rate charged to Aqua should take effect as soon as the contract is ratified. Given that the Arcadis Water Utility Rate Study has documented that the city is selling water to Aqua below the city’s production cost, it is not financially prudent to agree not to raise Aqua water rates in the first year of the new water agreement.
- Three: The ten-year term for the new agreement is not prudent and exposes the city to a great deal of uncertainty and . There is no benefit to the city for a long term agreement. A two or three year term would be much better and allow the city to weather an unforeseen financial downturn arising from water sales.
- Four: Reserving 2.0 million gallons per day (mgd) for possible sale to Aqua is an unfair provision in the agreement. In effect, Aqua is asking that North Canton provide the basis for Aqua’s future growth of water sales at the expense of the citizens of North Canton.
- Five: Monthly billing, late payments, and penalties for late payments should be brought in line with North Canton’s policies that are presently in effect for all water users.
Will he be?
Why not? Because he is Chuck Osborne.
The Report believes that a number of North Canton councilpersons and city administrators oppose "anything Osborne" just because it is Chuck Osborne speaking.
Such is a common phenomenon among many Stark County based government officials; not just North Canton's. And, then they wonder why levies fail.
These government officials might just try - for a change - respecting each and every citizen who come before them.
Think that might not be in order?
For those readers outside of North Canton, The Report reminds them that that Aqua has vowed to fight before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) for a 20% (up front) increase in water rates on its customers which includes a goodly number of Stark Countians.
Aqua seems to be a company that wants it every which way, to wit:
Get a great deal at the "wholesale" end of the water supply line (North Canton) and then get a premium deal courtesy of the PUCO (which regulates monopolistic utilities) at the "retail" end (Jackson, Lake, Perry, Tuscarawas, Hills and Dales and Massillon).
Aqua has seemingly stirred up a hornet's nest in Stark among the citizens (as represented by affected township and city/village governments in Stark County) and, of course, with citizen Chuck Osborne of the City of North Canton!
The moral of the story? Participation is the obligation of every citizen to make our democracy work. Citizen participation does make a difference!!!