By Sheila McLaughlin
Enquirer Staff Writer
LOVELAND - The city has taken the first step toward improving the sewer system to expand development into Warren County, despite the chance it will pay the brunt of the bill.
Council agreed this week to begin designing the project to increase the size of the sewer line on Maple Avenue, which ultimately would provide enough capacity to develop 700 to 800 acres the city has targeted for future growth.
City officials had been at odds with Metropolitan Sewer District over who should pay for the project. MSD recently agreed to pay slightly more than a third of the cost, though city officials have argued the agency is obligated to pay more under a 1985 agreement.
That could leave Loveland responsible for about $200,000 in costs if applications for state grants are rejected while they try to work out differences with MSD.
City manager Fred Enderle said the city should move on the design phase of the project now because the city's spat with MSD has put Villages of Loveland, a 50-home development, on hold until the sewer capacity is increased.
Council will later have to decide whether to pay for the upgrade, which Enderle pointed out was promised when the city annexed the 72-acre site off Butterworth Road.
Councilman Paul Elliott argued that Loveland taxpayers should not have to pay for sewers that would serve a single development.
Councilman Rob Weisgerber disagreed.
"This is not only for one development," he said. "It is opening up a growth area for our master plan."
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