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Big Water Fight in German Township
GERMAN TOWNSHIP -- The Valley View Water and Sewer District says it will re-evaluate its plan to put a $1.3 million water line along Eby Road.
The district decided to take another look at the plan after hundreds of taxpayers voiced their concerns over the project at two meetings Monday afternoon and Monday evening.
John Herlinger lives along Eby Road. He says switching to a main water line will cost him $26,000, about $140 a month for 30 years. He currently pays nothing for well water, a system he had installed nearly 20 years ago for about $4,000.
The project cost is 10.35 percent of a homeowner's assessed property with a one percent interest rate over 30 years.
And even though Herlinger wants more, better water, the price tag is too high.
"I don't need water that bad and the people on this road don't need water that bad," says Herlinger.
The water district is a separate entity from the German Township Board of Trustees and it is ultimately the water district's decision to move forward on the waterline project.
Water District Chairman Greg Hanahan says he grew up with well water in German Township but it's time to update to a more reliable service.
"It is a significant amount of money. The Eby Road area is an area where water is very limited and also the quality of the water is poor," says Hanahan.
Hanahan took over as chairman about six months ago, it is a voluntary position. Last year, he was terminated from his position as a Miami Township administrator. He signed a termination agreement with the township to end his contract but still collected his salary for the rest of the year.
Nearly 50 homeowners along Eby Road have signed the petition to stop the project but according to Ohio Revised Code 6119 the water district has the power to make this decision without a vote from the taxpayers. ORC 6119 also allows them to self-appoint, tax and assess without a vote and use the power of eminent domain.
That power is what has homeowners so upset.
"That's the scariest part about this; the board is formed and I can't elect them on or off," says Herlinger.
The next water district meeting was supposed to be May 12 at 2 p.m. but Hanahan says it will be rescheduled for another date in May and at a later time so more people can attend.
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