The Portage County village of Mantua decided in an emergency meeting Tuesday night to put its water and sewage systems up for bid.
A vocal crowd of about 45 people packed Mantua village hall to discuss what to do with the aging infrastructure.
Portage County officials say they will no longer help maintain it after the end of the year. Most of the pipes are approaching the end of their life span and the village says there are other repairs and improvements to the system that will be needed.
Council hoped to pass an ordinance to start writing the bid. Some residents, like Jason Wysong, wanted to keep the system under village control rather than sell it to a private company.
“I mean we’re basically gonna end up [giving] it away," he said. "We have an asset; it's good water. Our rates are gonna go up regardless. But why not keep it so you own it, you control it?”
Council unanimously passed the ordinance and invited village residents to give input on the bid documents in upcoming committee meetings.