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Akron Announces Green Initiatives and Savings of About $57 Million For Its Sewer Plans

photo of Mayor Horrigan

Akron announced today a change to the city's sewer plan that's expected to save about $30 million. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.

A federal judge has allowed modifications to the sewer plan that eliminate the need for a pump station and a secondary sewer along Riverview Road. City officials say that’s greener and will minimize the impact on the Towpath Trail and Cuyahoga River.

Akron Economic Development Director James Hardy says green initiatives, and working on the project’s financing, should lead to more savings in the future.

“As new technologies come about, as green infrastructure movement continues, we want to be in close consultation with our local, state and federal partners to make sure we take advantage of those.”

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan says the city continues to look for ways to pass the savings on to consumers.

“As big as this project is, we continue to look for ways to be able to bring down the rates. The savings this year have been significant – we’ll continue to look for ways to do that. On the total issue, it’s probably a little bit early to tell that at this particular point, but we’ll continue to look for ways to be able to do that.”

Earlier this month, the Ohio EPA agreed to modify Akron’s 45-year loan for the project, saving $18.7 million. Mayor Horrigan says he’ll continue to work with the EPA to make re-payment of that loan more affordable for the city.

And earlier this year, the city saved $8 million by taking advantage of more environmentally friendly options in the sewer project.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.