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Published: Wednesday, 8/6/2014

City council set to review 6-year sewer-rate hike

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo City Council has scheduled a public meeting to review a proposal for a six-year rate increase to finance the final phase of the sewer project known as the Toledo Waterways Initiative.

The ordinance, which was discussed during the panel’s agenda review meeting Tuesday, asks for users to pay about $13 a quarter more during each of the next six years.

Councilman Lindsay Webb said the community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday in the Main Library downtown.

The sewer-rate hike, which is a request from the Collins administration, also will be reviewed at 4 p.m. Aug. 20 at council’s committee of the whole meeting, she said.

The $521 million Toledo Waterways Initiative construction program was approved by voters in 2002 to make improvements to the city’s Bay View Wastewater Treatment Plant on Summit Street and to expand the city’s sewerage network.

The project began in 2003 and will eliminate overflows that have occurred in the past that allowed untreated waste to spill into the Maumee River, which is among the contributors to Lake Erie algae that caused the recent contamination to the city’s water system.

During the meeting, council forwarded legislation to next week’s council agenda to enact tougher penalties for offenders who steal metals from buildings and houses.

The proposed law would elevate the crime to a theft offense and require that people convicted of house stripping be placed on a list of people who cannot get money for metals from recyclers.

Thomas Kroma, director of the Department of Neighborhoods, said the proposed amendment to the city code came out of talks with Toledo police, the law department, and prosecutors.

“We are hoping for a lot of changes that strengthen our laws and try to reduce stripping, which contributes to blight in our neighborhoods,” he said.



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