Board releases draft of strategic plan
Building upon the success of the last strategic plan, the Board identified five key initiatives.
The Avon Lake Board of Municipal Utilities released a draft of its strategic plan Feb. 5 outlining priorities over the next four years. Building upon the success of the last strategic plan, the Board identified five key initiatives: water supply resiliency and reliability; water quality enhancement; revenue diversification; continuous improvement; and outreach and customer enhancement. The Board plans to prioritize proactive management of its water utility and will aim to complete the launch of their GIS for underground asset location, conduct an asset inventory and initiate a predictive maintenance program. Additionally, Avon Lake Regional Water will finish construction of an interconnection with the city of Elyria to provide water during emergencies. The Board will examine additional interconnections where appropriate, according to documents. In 2019, Avon Lake Regional Water is expected to complete the combined sewer separation project in line with the 2020 deadline set by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The Board will continue to work toward ways to reduce sewer overflows.
“Avon Lake Regional Water needed to radically rethink the idea to help prevent basement backups in a way that was most affordable to customers,” according to the plan. “This led to the current approach where customers are separating wastewater from clean water sources on their properties and Avon Lake Regional Water is separating sewers within right-of-ways.” The Board also is working on ways to improve the storm water collection system and will expand the aggressive infiltration and inflow removal program to help reduce clean water from entering sanitary sewers. Since 2013, Avon Lake Regional Water has borrowed $120 million, which has tripled debt service requirements and led to rate increases, according to documents. The increases have been mitigated through $75 million in zero-percent interest loan funding, and hundreds of thousands in savings through energy programs. In 2018, Avon Lake Regional Water entered into a partnership with the Department of Energy to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent. Further, Avon Lake Regional Water will continue looking at growing its system in identifying additional services it can provide to bulk customers, according to plans.