Aurora to Receive Cleveland Water

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Aurora will be the first Portage County city to receive Cleveland water -- about 1.6 million gallons a day -- in the deal between Portage County and the city that was signed Monday. The agreement forbids the county and its municipalities from tax breaks and other perks to lure away businesses from Cleveland.

Harold Huff, the county's Water Resources Director, said the county can buy up to 5 million gallons a day to meet the future demands of Aurora and fast growing Portage including Brimfield and Streetsboro.

Harold Huff: Our agreement with Cleveland will cover not only the present needs of Aurora, but their needs through build out which planners suggest will go up to 2.4 million a day.

Portage will pay a yearly economic development fee that starts at $100,000 -- it can go up with the consumer price index -- and an estimated annual water cost of $1 million dollars. The contract is good for 20 years.

So far, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has finalized similar agreements with Lakewood and Bedford. Ten others are in negotiation. The water deals are part of the mayor's ultimate goal of building more regional cooperation in economic development.

Kymberli Hagelberg, 90.3.

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