Tobin Center will hook into new county water line

LISBON – The Tobin Center is expected to hook into a new county water line after all, allaying any concerns the Columbiana County commissioners and the county Board of Developmental Disabilities would have to absorb the additional costs that would otherwise have resulted.

Commissioner Tim Weigle reported at this week’s meeting the Multi-County Juvenile Attention System (MCJAS) board has indicated it will vote in favor of hooking into the new county water line installed along County Home Road in Center Township.

Commissioners undertook the $786,000 project last year with the understanding the government agencies located along County Home Road would hook into the water line, with money from the monthly user fees charged the agencies to pay off the construction loans.

Those agencies include the county jail/sheriff’s office complex, county dog pound, the Board of Developmental Disabilities’ (BDD) workshops, and the MCJAS’ juvenile detention facility, known as the Tobin Center. All have well systems of varying quality, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was requiring some of the agencies to perform costly upgrades. Hooking onto the water line is expected to save them the expense of doing so and also provide a reliable source of quality water, which is coming from a Salem water line that runs just north of the area.

The project was undertaken by commissioners with the understanding all of the agencies were on board, but commissioners later learned the MCJAS had changed its mind. This meant the $7,743 per year the MCJAS was to pay for the water service would have to be passed onto commissioners and the BDD in the form of higher rates.

Weigle said the MCJAS was facing a $40,000 upgrade of its water system, and he was able to convince the board to hook onto the water line after crunching some numbers to demonstrate it was cheaper in the long run for them to do so once operational costs were included.