Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


Councilman chides mayor over surprise fee for water

A Toledo coun­cil­man on Thurs­day blasted the Bell ad­min­is­tra­tion for im­pos­ing a $200 de­posit on all new wa­ter ac­counts and for push­ing through the ex­pense on new home­own­ers with­out warn­ing.

“First, this coun­cil­man was never no­ti­fied that there was an in­crease in this fee,” Coun­cil­man Rob Lude­man, who is a Real­tor, wrote in an email to Mayor Mike Bell and some of the mayor’s top of­fi­cials.

“The real es­tate in­dus­try was never no­ti­fied … I am not sure why there was no trans­par­ency in this move, but I will be ask­ing Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Joe McNamara to hold a pub­lic hear­ing just as we do on all fee in­creases,” he said. “Hav­ing en­dured the hous­ing cri­sis first hand the last five years and fi­nally see­ing the ‘light at the end of the tun­nel,’ this is not the time to make home own­er­ship, es­pe­cially in the city of Toledo, more costly and dif­fi­cult.”

Dave Welch, Depart­ment of Pub­lic Util­i­ties di­rec­tor, told The Blade on Wed­nes­day the $200 de­posit was re­quired only from cus­tom­ers want­ing wa­ter ser­vice be­fore Oct. 1, 2012, but it now is re­quired from ev­ery­one.

Mr. Welch said the $200 is cred­ited to­ward a cus­tomer’s fi­nal bill when ser­vice is ter­mi­nated.

Mr. Lude­man and Coun­cil­man D. Mi­chael Collins found that un­pal­at­able.

Both coun­cil­men said the de­posit should be re­funded af­ter a pe­riod of time the cus­tomer has stayed cur­rent on the bill. They both ac­knowl­edged home­own­ers who de­cide to stay in the same house for de­cades will never re­coup the fee.

“So it’s ba­si­cally a fee,” Mr. Collins said.

The de­posit was ex­panded in part be­cause the city’s wa­ter and sewer sys­tems need big re­pairs. It is meant to al­le­vi­ate de­lin­quen­cies, which the city ag­gres­sively has sought to cur­tail by le­gally pur­su­ing peo­ple who are be­hind in their bills and even pros­e­cut­ing those who steal wa­ter af­ter a shut­off.

Under the city pol­icy, some­one buy­ing a mul­ti­unit build­ing with mul­ti­ple wa­ter me­ters must pay the $200 de­posit for each unit.

Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Joe McNamara sched­uled a hear­ing on the topic for 4 p.m. Feb. 4.

Con­tact Igna­zio Messina at:imessina@the­blade.comor 419-724-6171.

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2018 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…