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Westlake wins preliminary round in fight over Cleveland water
Cleveland says if Westlake pulls out, its ratepayers need to pay millions more to reimburse the city
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Cleveland says it's invested a lot over the years that Westlake customers would have to repay. But the judge has sided, so far, with Westlake.
Courtesy of Cleveland Water Department
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In The Region:

A Cuyahoga County judge had granted Westlake water customers a preliminary injunction to keep Cleveland from increasing their rates by as much as $20,000 a year. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the latest in the months’-long battle.

LISTEN: Westlake wins an injunction

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Cleveland says it thinks Judge Michael Astrab was wrong in granting the injunction and it is exploring “all of our available options to protect the rate payers in more than 70 other communities” served by Cleveland water.

Late last year, Westlake indicated it was considering withdrawing from the Cleveland water system and looking for another bulk supplier. It said it needed to shop around to find the best deal for its residents, and that could mean using several suppliers – including Cleveland – or pulling out altogether.

Cleveland responded that if Westlake did that, its customers would have to repay Cleveland nearly $60 million for investments in the past and for the cost of rerouting pipes to bypass Westlake to get to other communities.

Cleveland council approved rate changes that ranged from nearly $300 a quarter to $5,000 a quarter for commercial customers. 

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