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Published: Tuesday, 10/19/2004

Perrysburg council may raise water, sewer rates

Perrysburg City Council plans to vote tonight on raising the city's water and sewer rates.

A study completed this fall by the Arcadis FPS engineering firm of Toledo recommends raising water and sewer rates for current users by 3.9 percent in each of the next four years.

Residents who use the city's water and sewer lines would continue to be charged a minimum fee plus a rate based on the volume of water they use. Users outside the city limits pay more than Perrysburg residents.

Since 2000, Perrysburg has raised its water and sewer rates by 3.6 percent every year.

Under the new rate schedule, households inside the city limits with a typical family's water and sewer usage of 2,500 cubic feet each quarter would pay $10.88 more for water and $13.60 more for sewer service in 2005. Households outside the city with typical consumption would pay $12.48 more for water and $17 more for sewer in 2005.

Gary Haydel, superintendent of the city's water pollution control division, said he was pleased with the findings of the Arcadis study, noting that average annual rate increases for Ohio are 4.9 percent for water and 4.2 percent for sewer service.

The study recommends major annual increases to the city's capital expansion charges, which are one-time fees charged to developers and home builders connecting to the city's water and sewer lines.

For example, the charge for a typical home inside the city to tap into a water line would increase from the current fee of $1,005 to $1,885 next year. The fee for a typical home in the city to tap into sewer service would increase from $295 to $1,191 next year.

"There is a belief that the people who are driving the expansion [of infrastructure] should pay for the brunt of the expansion," Mr. Haydel said.

The study said the increases are needed so the city can fund operations and maintenance of the water and sewer systems and pay for more than $19 million in capital projects for these systems planned in the next four years, including expansion of the water treatment plant.

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