WESTLAKE -- Cleveland's water system intends to recover $58.8 million from Westlake water customers for costs it will face if Westlake follows through changing its water supplier to Avon Lake.
And that could mean dramatically higher bills.
Read the letter to customers below.
Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough's been pushing for a switch. The two cities have been exchanging conflicting studies and angry words for a couple years.
Now Cleveland's water system is asking City Council to pass measures which will allow it to raise Westlake water rates effective January 1, 2014.
Typical homeowners would see their bills jump almost $1300/year over a five-year perios.
Cleveland says it must recover Westlake's fair share of costs made to improve service in that community. That's $39.8 million.
If Westlake secedes from the Cleveland water system, there will be an impact on neighboring communities including Bay Village, Fariview Park, North Olmsted and Rocky River.
The impact of it disconnecting would mean another $19 million in costs, Cleveland says.
The Water Department says it's unfair for other communities and customers to absorb that cost.
Westlake officials sought to leave Cleveland's system claiming the switch would mean better service and save money.
Cleveland supplies more than 70 commmunities in five counties.
It's fighting a battle of having fewer customers using less water. Losing a customer the size of Westlake would be a big hit and dangerous precedent.