Is there about to be a water war in Dayton?

Our water source is a huge aquifer underneath Dayton. We have so much good, potable water that we even pump millions of gallons of it in the air every hour at Riverscape. But, a source told me today that Montgomery County and the City of Dayton have reopened the water contract and things could get interesting, soon.

The contract that’s in place wasn’t due to be renegotiated until 2016. The county has been threatening to build its own well field at Crane’s Run for years. The last deal put that proposed plant to sleep, however, in an attempt to “save” money, the county may be threatening to build it again so as to renegotiate rates. This is coming when Dayton is looking at a huge surplus of capacity supply with closing of Delphi plants and a cutback at Cargill – two of the largest industrial users.

The Dayton Water Department is also getting merged into public works, and the water department budget thrown in under the General fund. While this all sounds like accounting moves, it’s important because up until now, the water department had its own Profit and Loss responsibilities, and has always run in the black.

Water shouldn’t be a bargaining chip, it is a community asset. However, if we are ever to see a move to UniGov, it’s the one bargaining chip that Dayton can’t afford to lose before we belly up to the regional government discussions.

If anyone has further information on this, feel free to share.

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