The Scranton City Council unanimously approved last Thursday a proposed contract to purchase a minimum of 90 million gallons of water a year from Paris at a cost of $166,500 per year when the present water purchase agreement between the two cities ends in 2014, according to Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers.

Under terms of the contract proposal, Scranton will pay $1.85 for each thousand gallons purchased.

Now, the proposed contract has to be considered by the Paris City Council. The proposed contract will be brought before the Paris City Council on Monday, June 3, Rogers said.

Scranton plans to purchase the bulk of its water from Clarksville after the existing contract with Paris expires. After 2014, if the proposed contract is approved by the Paris City Council, Paris will become a supplemental supplier to Scranton, Rogers said.

"The completes two and a half years of work to retain some of the money we were going to lose if Scranton bought all their water from Clarksville," Rogers said. "When I took office, we were looking at losing, potentially, $393,000 a year, which is over half out water department’s budget."

Rogers said selling water to Scranton, coupled with selling additional water to the Greasy Valley Water Users Association and assuming control of the Carbon City Water Users Association, the city’s water system will bring in $300,000 from outside users, cutting the loss to $93,000 annually.

In addition, Rogers said next year, the city will be contractually obligated to sell about 235 million gallons a year to outside users, compared to 400 million gallons a year under existing contracts.

"That means we can say goodbye to the days of water conservation, once and for all."

Periods of water conservation in Paris have become common over the last seven summers. Rogers said language will be placed in the proposed contract to protect the water supply to residents of Paris.

"We’re going to put language in the contract that we don’t have to sell to water to Scranton in the event of an extreme drought," Rogers said. "These are surplus water contracts, which means we sell water if we have surplus water to sell."