Avon Lake Regional Water is in the midst of a $100-million improvement program funded through the rates we charge for water and wastewater services. For Avon Lake readers, if you care how this is spent, then you should care about the upcoming election November 3, 2015, where three members will be elected to the Board of Municipal Utilities.
The founding fathers of Avon Lake showed significant insight when they formed the Board of Municipal Utilities as an independent board. Independent utility boards are able to focus solely on water and wastewater management issues, a very detail- and capital-oriented endeavor. This singular focus ensures the organization is operated in the best manner possible to provide excellent service today, tomorrow, and long into the future. Raising funds to keep our water infrastructure working (and raising rates in order to make it happen) doesn’t win political elections, but it does keep rates lower in the long-run than deferring maintenance and keeping rates steady.
Raising funds to keep our water infrastructure working (and raising rates in order to make it happen) doesn’t win political elections, but it does keep rates lower in the long-run than deferring maintenance and keeping rates steady.
Perhaps more important, with the freedom to consider the big picture, rather than the next election, comes the opportunity to make big decisions that reap big rewards for ratepayers. For example, the original decision to offer water outside our city led to Avon Lakers having one of the lowest water rates in the state.
The Avon Lake Board of Municipal Utilities first met in 1929 to oversee operations of the brand new water filtration plant. Since that time, the Board has overseen the construction of our first wastewater treatment plant, the regionalization of water sales and wastewater collection, and now the resiliency-increasing measures to help mitigate potential environmental concerns such as toxic algae and icing.
Board members are Avon Lake citizens elected at-large to serve 4-year terms. This November, three of our five members will be elected. In 2017, two of five members will be elected. The staggered terms are meant to reduce the chances for too much turnover at once.
For probably the first time ever, there are six candidates for the three open positions: Anthony Abram, Robert Berner (incumbent), John Dzwonczyk (incumbent), Randy Phillips (incumbent), Dana Schnabel, and C.J. Tyree. Some have even set up election pages (John Dzwonczyk and C.J. Tyree so far). On October 7, 2015, Avon Lake Community Television recorded a discussion with the candidates hosted by the Cable Advisory Committee so that we may make educated decisions when we each vote for up to three candidates on November 3 (see https://vimeo.com/141827849).
Within the past 18 months, the Board has been working with staff to update the strategic plan. The Board's vision for Avon Lake Regional Water is to be a trusted and treasured community asset that enhances quality of life. Soon, the Board will affirm the agenda staff will be working to complete during the next four years. These initiatives will help assure a safe and reliable water system, enhance water quality, help mitigate cost impacts on customers, and provide information through various outreach efforts. Board input is critical, because these projects are paid exclusively through user fees—which include the rates we all pay for water and wastewater services.
The Board's vision for Avon Lake Regional Water is to be a trusted and treasured community asset that enhances quality of life.
Avon Lake Regional Water is your water and wastewater service provider, and the Board of Municipal Utilities is the governing authority. The Board represents the citizens of Avon Lake to assure that staff members are making the correct decisions to provide the region with quality water services. Do your research. (We hope to help you by setting up a page on http://avonlakewater.org/ with candidate information soon.) Don't flush your vote down the toilet. Learn about the candidates and vote.