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Waterville mulls Increases in sewer, water rates

Waterville residents can expect to see higher water and sewer charges in 2009, beginning with the bill they receive Feb. 1.

Village Council gave second reading to a pair of ordinances last week that would hike the average customer's combined monthly water and sewer charge by 3.8 percent next year, to $61.69. It is expected to adopt the new rates at its Monday meeting.

The bill is based on an average consumption of 6,000 gallons a month.

The rates would continue to go up for the next three years: by 3.5 percent in 2010; 4 percent in 2011, and 3.5 percent in 2012.

The new rates are the result of a study prepared by the village's engineering consultant, Proudfoot Associates, and reflect higher prices charged by Toledo for water and Lucas County for sewer consumption.

"We've tried to smooth out the rates instead of having a large jump next year," village engineer Tom Yurysta, who works for Proudfoot, explained. "We tried to keep the increases at less than 4 percent."

The price Toledo charges Waterville will rise by 4.5 percent a year for the next four years, he explained, and Lucas County's by 2 percent annually over the same period.

Additionally, the village's operation and maintenance costs are projected to rise by 2 percent per year, he said.

The new rates also reflect increased capital charges. These are flat fees customers are billed regardless of consumption that cover debt service and the costs of making improvements to the system, such as new water and sewer lines and water towers.

The water capital charge more than doubles next year to $6.50 a month. It then increases from $7 in 2010 to $8 in 2011 and 2012.

The sewer capital charge remains unchanged next year, at $12.23. It then increases to $13 in 2010 and $13.50 in 2011 and 2012.

No council member or citizen questioned the need for the new fees.

In other action, council:

•Adopted an ordinance levying assessments for new sidewalks that were part of the North Third Street Enhancement Project.

•Adopted the annual five-year capital planning program, which is subject to change as budget conditions warrant.

•Authorized Administrator Jim Bagdonas to contract with GovDeals Inc. to assist the village in disposing of unclaimed, forfeited, surplus, or obsolete property through online auctions.

•Agreed to have the village pay an estimated $243,570 for the relocation of two village-owned sewer lines in the state right-of-way as part of the U.S. 24 bypass project.

•Accepted a donation of four cemetery spaces in Highland Memory Gardens from former Waterville residents Patricia and Richard Beach. The plots will be used for the burial of indigent residents.

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