Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic gave a presentation on the upcoming $800 million combined sewer overflow (CSO) project Monday afternoon to answer questions from Akron City Council members regarding the ongoing federal mandate.
Plusquellic tells AkronNewsNow.com while the city has spent more than $300 million on sewers since he became mayor in 1987, there is still more to do.
"We need to do more because that's what the federal mandates require us to do, to take care of a problem that was last built in 1934," he explained.
"We've inherited it, and now we wait on the federal judge's decision."
Plusquellic said he tried to clear up misconceptions that the city did not act quickly enough in trying to take care of the sewer problems.
The mayor told council members in the meeting sewer rates are expected to rise, but not as much as anticipated, with the improvements being made to the system.
This stems from the EPA lawsuit against Akron, who has poured millions into the project.
A preliminary report on how the city can tackle its sewer problems from Oregon environmental law expert Craig Johnston could come as soon as this week.
The mayor says he and the administration will implement a plan in late August requiring contactors to hire a certain number of Akron residents to work on these CSO projects.
"The residents of Akron who have to pay the majority of this will end up getting the work, and will get that return by residents having jobs instead of outside people having to come in."
A special meeting could be called in August by City Council President Garry Moneypenny if an ordinance is needed as to how the city will implement Akron workers to assist with the sewer project.