For Immediate Release:
On May 2, 2013, the City of Westlake officially notified Cleveland Water that it intends to terminate its relationship with the Cleveland Water system and seek another supplier of water. In light of this, we wanted to share with you – our customers – how we intend to make sure you do not bear the financial burden of Westlake’s decision.
As the water supplier to more than 70 communities across parts of 5 counties, we take our responsibility to cost-effectively deliver safe water seriously. Since 1981, we have invested more than $1.8 billion in our water treatment and delivery infrastructure and have structured our operations to quickly respond to water main breaks so that we can provide best in class customer service.
In general, Cleveland Water recovers the cost of these investments over time through the water rates we charge all of our customers. A substantial portion of these costs have been invested to benefit the City of Westlake, and more than $39.8 million of these costs, Westlake’s share, will remain unpaid when the City of Westlake switches water providers.
Additionally, the City of Westlake’s decision to leave the Cleveland Water system will impact the communities immediately bordering Westlake, including Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted and Rocky River. In order to ensure that our remaining customers continue to enjoy the same level of service they have come to expect and rely on, we must make additional infrastructure changes and investments at all of the points where Westlake disconnects from the Cleveland Water system. These additional costs are in excess of $19 million.
These costs, $58.8 million in all, must be recovered as a part of our business operations. Because the decision to leave the Cleveland Water system was made by the City of Westlake, it is unfair to ask our remaining rate payers to bear the burden of repaying this $58.8 million.
As a result, Cleveland City Council has passed an ordinance to recover this $58.8 million directly from Westlake customers. Under the ordinance, effective January 1, 2014, customers in Westlake will see an additional charge on their Cleveland Water bill. These additional charges, detailed in the table below, are determined by the size of a customer’s water meter and are scheduled to recur on all Westlake quarterly customer bills (or monthly if there is a change in the billing schedule) during the five year cancellation period. In general, a typical homeowner has a “1 inch or smaller” meter.
|Additional Quarterly Charge to Recover Costs|
|1" or smaller meters||$291|
|1.5" and 2" meters||$569|
|3" and 4" meters||$1942|
Our commitment is to ensure our customers do not have to bear the burden of one community’s – in this case the City of Westlake – decision. If you have additional questions, please contact us at WestlakeInquiries@ClevelandWater.com