The Issue: Pipeline Connection to Canton Water System
Pipeline Legislation
Pipeline Legislation    Pipeline Not Bid    Pipeline Incomplete
bullet Background Information & Outcome
bullet My Position & Rationale
bullet Research, Documentation & Press Coverage

Background Information & Outcome

The Legislation: Ordinance No. 38-02 authorizing the Mayor of the City of North Canton, through the Board of Control, to enter into a PIPELINE OCCUPANCY AGREEMENT by and between METRO REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY (“Licensor”) and the CITY OF NORTH CANTON (“Licensee”) for the purpose of constructing, using and maintaining a twenty-four (24) inch pipeline solely for the transmission of potable water (the “pipeline”).

The Outcome: The two pieces of legislation were read at three open council meetings (March 25, 2002, April 1, 2002 and April 8, 2002). The legislation required at least four votes for passage and received the needed votes for all three readings for both pieces of legislation. This was reported in a Repository article dated April 9, 2002 . All members present voted as follows:

Yes: Foltz, Lindower, McLaughlin, Magel, Kiesling, Snyder
Abstained: Osborne
No: 0

I abstained on this issue because I was not opposed to a possible connection to Canton's water system, but I was not happy with the implementation of that plan. For me, the implementation of an idea is just as important as the idea itself.

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My Position & Rationale

My Position: The City of North Canton should lay the pipeline along a more favorable route.

bullet The proposed route of the pipeline will cross the Zimber Ditch and could affect future improvements planned for the Zimber Ditch.

I was unable to get assurances that the pipeline would not interfere with the future improvements planned for the Zimber Ditch. This concern was detailed in a memo dated March 25, 2002, to council (Place link to March 25, 2002 memo).

bullet There is no cap on the right-of-way fees that North Canton will have to pay to the Metro Regional Transit Authority.

The City of North Canton will have to make payments in perpetuity if it is to construct and use a pipeline in the railroad right-of-way.

I provided to City Council a schedule of estimated fees indicating that North Canton will pay out nearly $1.1 million dollars over an estimated 100-year lifetime use of this pipeline. I also pointed out that to limit its costs, the City of Canton negotiated a one-time perpetual license fee of $95,700 for their railroad right-of-way fee one year earlier along this same track line.

The schedule of estimated fees noted above was later verified by a CPA, which I reported to Mr. Rick McLaughlin, Chairman of the North Canton City Council's Water, Sewer and Rubbish Committee in a letter dated April 29, 2002.  In addition, I detailed the right-of-way fees in an April 2002 newsletter to residents.

bullet The terms of the contract with the Metro Regional Transit Authority for the right of-way are very unfavorable to the City of North Canton.

One such clause in the contract requires that the 24-inch pipeline be removed when the city discontinues use of the pipeline. My memo to council dated April 7, 2002 details other unfavorable contract terms.

bullet Appropriation of funds for the pipeline project could adversely impact the continued development of the East Maple Street Well Field.

The city administration would not provide any information during these discussions on their plans for the future development of the East Maple Street Well Field.

bullet The following technical concerns regarding the pipeline were raised by me but were never addressed by the administration:
bullet The full capacity of the pipeline will not be utilized. This is because North Canton is connecting a 24-inch pipeline to the City of Canton’s 12-inch pipeline.
bullet Canton water customers could experience a drop in their water pressure because Canton has many residential water users located downstream of where North Canton’s 24-inch pipeline connects into Canton’s 12-inch water line.

bullet The pipeline must be removed from the railroad right-of-way when use of the pipeline is discontinued. There was no discussion of the cost to remove the pipeline.

Each of these technical concerns were addressed in a memo to Mayor Tom Rice dated May 22, 2002.

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Research, Documentation & Press Coverage

bullet Right-of-Way Fee Schedule
bullet Letter dated April 29, 2002
bullet Memo to council dated, April 7, 2002
bullet April 2002 newsletter to residents
bullet Memo to council dated, April 7, 2002
bullet Memo to Mayor Tom Rice dated May 22, 2002

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