By Kevin Kelley
The city of Cleveland’s Department of Water will fund $1.7 million in water line work in Fairview Park, a benefit of the suburb’s recent approval of a pact with the big city.
Jim Kennedy, Fairview Park’s director of service and development, announced the funding at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
Water mains will be replaced on Glenbar Drive (between Center Ridge Road and Addington Boulevard), Morton Avenue (between West 226th Street and West 220th Street), Haber Drive (between West 220th Street and West 227th Street), West 224th Street (between Haber Drive and Sycamore Drive) and Sycamore Drive between West 224th Street and the first hydrant west).
Fairview Park officials will handle engineering preparations and the bidding process, and the city of Cleveland will reimburse the suburb at a later date, Kennedy said. The work on the projects will commence later this year, he added, although some streets might not be finished until next year.
“We look forward to the beginning of those kinds of water main improvements in Fairview Park.”
The agreement between Fairview Park and the city of Cleveland has three main components. First, the suburb agrees to an amended version of the existing water service pact that runs for 20 years. Second, a bilateral joint economic development zone is established between Fairview Park and Cleveland. Both municipalities agree to limit the pursuit of businesses currently in the other’s boundaries. If a firm relocates from one municipality to another, the city that lost the company will receive half of that firm’s income tax revenue for five years.
Finally, ownership of water distribution lines smaller than 20 inches in diameter, currently owned by the suburb, are transferred to Cleveland’s Division of Water. Cleveland already owns mains larger than 20 inches in diameter. In return, Cleveland Water will invest $10 million each year replacing aging water lines in the suburbs it supplies.
The interim commissioner of Cleveland’s Division of Water, Alex Margevicius, presented the proposed agreement to council members and the administration of Mayor Eileen Patton in October. After several months of study and debate, council passed the agreement Jan. 7.
Cleveland has offered the same water deal to all the suburbs it supplies. About two dozen suburbs, including Rocky River, have signed on.
Cleveland Water approved essentially all the water line projects Fairview Park applied for, Kennedy said.
The approval came quickly, Kennedy said, because Fairview Park submitted its proposed projects even as council was still contemplating approval of the agreement.
Kennedy’s announcement was a welcome surprise to council.
“This is really good news about the water lines – that the agreement is already paying dividends,” council President Mike Kilbane said.