In an effort to study the possibility of consolidating resources, Johnstown village manager Jim Lenner, service director Jack Liggett and finance director Larry Heiser attended the Alexandria Village Council's Jan. 17 meeting.

In an effort to study the possibility of consolidating resources, Johnstown village manager Jim Lenner, service director Jack Liggett and finance director Larry Heiser attended the Alexandria Village Council's Jan. 17 meeting.

The trio wanted to discuss supplying water and sewer to its neighboring town.

Lenner said that means taking control of the village's water and wastewater facilities, including lines and sewer plant infrastructure.

He said Alexandria Mayor Stan Robinson and council members asked Johnstown in December to put together a draft proposal to talk about combining resources.

"I think in general there's a push between municipalities to work together and come up with ways to better serve their residents by maintaining a service and doing it at a cheaper price," Lenner said. "And this is one way that that could happen."

He said that Alexandria, which as of the 2000 census had a population of 85, could benefit financially if it uses Johnstown's services.

An average person uses around 1,000 gallons of water and sewer per month, he said, with the typical household using 2,000 to 4,000 gallons or more.

"Right now (what) they pay for 2,000 gallons with water and sewer is $84" per month, Lenner said. "We think we could get it around $55."

He said Alexandria residents would still pay about $25 more than Johnstown residents.

"Our residents pay $29.50, so it's still more than what our residents pay but it is about 35 percent savings on what they pay currently," Lenner said.

Alexandria residents using 4,000 gallons would be charged around $86, he said, down from the $102 they currently pay.

Alexandria water and sewer rates would only increase yearly by the same percentage as Johnstown rates, Lenner said. In 2009, Johnstown raised its rate by 2.8 percent. In 2010 and 2012 the rate did not increase.

"The best thing is our water plant only operates at 39 percent capacity (currently), so we have more than enough water to supply them," he said.

Lenner said Johnstown would have to pay to put water and sewer lines down state Route 37, but said the village already had plans to put in water lines in the direction of Alexandria within three to five years.

"This could help make it happen sooner," he said.

Alexandria looked at another draft proposal late last year from Southwest Licking Water and Sewer District.

"The mayor said they are actually going to look to the public to try and get some public input as to what the residents of Alexandria" prefer, Lenner said.

Lenner believes Alexandria officials will make a decision about where it will receive its water and sewer resources within the next two months.