Sylvania to draft legislation on water rate increases


The City of Sylvania will draft legislation to pass on the future water rate increases from the City of Toledo to residents within the city’s water district.

City residents, and some residing in Sylvania Township will see about a 13 percent increase in cost when they turn on their water tap starting Jan. 1. The Utilities and Environment Committee has approved for legislation a pass through increase that reflects Toledo’s increase in water rates next year. City Council is expected to vote on the legislation Dec. 2.

The rate increase, discussed Monday at a council meeting, affects about 5,900 accounts, which includes the entire city and parts of the township that are serviced by the city.

In May the City of Toledo approved increases of about 13 percent a year, for four years, and an additional 4.5 percent increase in the fifth year, to pay for more than $300 million in repairs and upgrades to its water drinking plant, mandated by the Ohio EPA. Toledo provides water to Sylvania.

The increase means an added $.45 increase per 1,000 gallons of water used, or $5.96 for city residents. Those customers outside the city limits are assessed a 25 percent surcharge, and their cost per 1,000 gallons used is $7.45.

Sylvania City Service Director Kevin Aller explained that a typical bill based on average household usage of 7,500 gallons of water a month in 2014, would be $44.69 for city residents, and $55.87 for the non-city rate. Currently an average bill is $41.33 for a city resident, and $51.68 for someone in the township. 

Mr. Aller said the fixes to Toledo’s water plant are much needed.

“They were very close last year to not being able to supply water. Their pumping system, was very close to a failure,” he said.

Mr. Aller proposed a straight pass through of those hikes onto customers in the city water district up to 2016, while maintaining the fees for operating costs. The administration plans to review the rates toward the end of 2016.

With the increased rates in 2015 the average city household bill would be $48.50, and $52.82 in 2016. While a non-city customer's bill would be $60.63 in 2015, and $66.02 in 2016. 

Mr. Aller and Chair Mike Brown noted that the city’s water fund, which is used for salaries, maintaining water lines and repairs, and to purchase water, is in good standing. There is about $1.3 million in the fund today.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or, or on twitter @natalietrusso.