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Sewer bills going up

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
MUSA Council
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Joined: May 16 2008
Location: Middletown, Ohi
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sewer bills going up
    Posted: Jun 05 2015 at 7:34pm

Posted: 6:25 p.m. Friday, June 5, 2015

GOVERNMENT SPENDING

Middletown sewer bills going up this fall

By Ed Richter

Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN 

Middletown sewer rates will be going up 10 percent as early as Sept. 1 to begin generating revenue to address the city’s sewer issues.

During a work session last week, City Council, reached a consensus that a 10 percent rate increase was needed in order to pay for the upgrade city officials and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agree upon.

City officials will be preparing legislation to raise the sewer rates at an upcoming council meeting.

More than 770 communities in the nation have or are negotiating with the U.S. EPA to address the overflows for combined sewer systems. The federal agency first started with larger cities, like Chicago, Cleveland and Cincinnati, which will spend billions of dollars in the coming decades to reach compliance.

The issue locally remains under negotiation between the city and the EPA. The cost is projected in a range of $80 million to $250 million over a 20- to 25-year period, said Scott Tadych, city director of public works and utilities.

In addition, the city will also face more than $200 million for major rehabilitation to the sewer collection system and the wastewater treatment plant over the same period of time, he said.

“Funding options for the these improvements are limited mostly to user fees, therefore it is necessary to raise sewer rates accordingly dependent upon the final solution,” Tadych said. “Small rate increases now will hopefully minimize the need for large rate increases in the future.”

Council members have spent the past several months trying to find a way to cause the least pain on ratepayers.

City Manager Doug Adkins said it was a matter of not if, but when the rates needed to be raised.

During a work session following Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Larry Mulligan said he was comfortable with a 10 percent rate increase.

Other council members agreed and Councilman Dan Picard agreed, but felt the city should raise the rate more than the proposed 10 percent.

“If we have the opportunity, let’s do it,” Picard said. “We’re only talking about a few bucks a month.”

City officials said based on 1,000 cubic feet of sewer usage, a rate payer will see their monthly charge go up $2 a month or from $21.10 to $23.10 a month. The average family of four in Middletown uses about 1,000 cubic feet a month.

There will be no increase in the city’s water rate at this time. The current water rate is $13.63 for using 1,000 cubic feet a month, which is about 22,500 gallons.

As of Dec. 31, 2014, Middletown has 19,500 accounts however, the average delinquency rate is 14 percent.

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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 05 2015 at 9:43pm
“If we have the opportunity, let’s do it,” Picard said. “We’re only talking about a few bucks a month.”

That's not the issue Picard. The issue is that for every gallon of water one dumps on the lawn in hot summer weather, to keep the lawn from burning up and going dormant, a sewer charge is tacked onto it.

If the city is going to raise sewer rates, the least they could do is allow us to have a separate meter installed just for the outside facets so that we will only be charged the water rate and not the sewer rate for water usage on the lawn and to wash cars.

My water bill is normally around 62 bucks a month. When I water the lawn in the summer, it shoots up to around 100 bucks or so. How about helping me keep my water bill down by installing another meter.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Dean View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 05 2015 at 11:35pm
Totally unacceptable. Evidently no one reviews the cash going out of the General Fund and deficit financing, and using public safety funding to short cover deficits elsewhere within the annual budget. Add to that income to be tapped, the added cost of sewers. Its a cash flow engine bringing dollars in to be floated to pay other city bills, and filled somewhere downstream at a later time.   
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Factguy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Factguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 06 2015 at 7:47am
Come on Dan. Start pushing the 2.25% tax increase, as its just a few bucks a paycheck. The fun in the city begins when the few bucks a month becomes hundreds of dollars. The school levy was just a few bucks, the library renewal was just a few bucks, the mental health renewal was just a few bucks. Key is to be sensitive where a few bucks doesn't lead to adios Middletown.  
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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
MUSA Council
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Joined: May 16 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 06 2015 at 9:17am
This is not the first increase in the sewer rates. Them boys down at City Hall have been collecting for the seperation of the sewers for years...so the real question should be....where is all the money? 
Take a look at one of your old water bills from 15 years ago.
This is like filling a bucket with a big hole in the bottom.
I know, I know, this happened in the past and we don't need to talk about it.

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ktf1179 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ktf1179 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 06 2015 at 1:32pm
You can thank the Federal EPA Consent Decree for our sewer bill going up. The City of Cincinnati is dealing with this issue as well. http://msdgc.org/consent_decree/

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chmoore1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chmoore1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 06 2015 at 2:33pm
"More than 770 communities in the nation have or are negotiating with the U.S. EPA to address the overflows for combined sewer systems." Will this actually separate the sewer (into "waste" and "storm" or just "address the overflow" or just be some sort of "overflow" fix? just 1chmoore.
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spiderjohn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 07 2015 at 12:25pm
Amen fact guy
1. School scores have been dumbed down to where everyone asses, yet we remain near the bottom. Ask local small businesses about the quality of the young work force and the turnover.
2. Library levy changed nothing here other than increasing already good salaries and bennies for employees(now more of them)
3. Public safety levys have been hose jobs, with money siphoned elsewhere.
4. Mental health improvements? List them please...
5. Former downtown area purchases from cronies followed by expensive giveaways + cash has crushed local property values. And little to no work being done on any of these projects or timetables mentioned in the "feel good" press releases.
6. Few to no quite of life improvements.

Dan P is a nice person but an out of touch Councilmember
None of those up for re-erection have any business running again. We need new younger faces/ideas
I like and trust Doug, though I can't see his current roster of staff changing much other than self-preservation

Jmo
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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Joined: May 16 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 03 2015 at 7:11am

Posted: 7:00 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015

MIDDLETOWN

Middletown utility bills may be going up

By Ed Richter

Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN 

Residents may soon pay a 10 percent surcharge to base sanitary sewer rates as part of the city’s efforts to cover the costs of future sewer infrastructure improvements.

City Council on Tuesday heard the first reading of the ordinance that will raise sewer bills by about $2.11 a month for a typical residential user, said City Manager Doug Adkins.

He said sewer bills are reviewed by council every few years after reviewing the operational, maintenance and capital improvement needs for the city’s sanitary sewer system. Council last discussed rates in 2013 that resulted in a 10 percent rate increase on Jan. 1, 2014, he said.

If council approves the ordinance at its next meeting on Sept. 15, it would take effect 30 days later on Oct. 15 and the surcharge will be reflected as a separate line item on the November city utilities bill, Adkins said.

The surcharge is expected to generate about $850,000 a year, he said.

Middletown ranks 25th of the 63 community sewer systems in the Miami Valley that are surveyed annually by the city of Oakwood Finance Department. Oakwood surveys the average cost for using 22,500 gallons of water in a three month period and the current ranking was based on rates effective as of March 1. The average cost for Middletown residents currently using 22,500 gallons in a three month period is $122.25.

Adkins said that major capital improvements over the next 25 years will be needed for the city’s aging combined sanitary and stormwater sewage system.

The city’s lines get overloaded with rain water and sewage overflows at several points along the Great Miami River, Adkins said. In addition, to addressing the overflow issues, extensive rehabilitation of the city’s sewer system, which nearly half of the system is 50 years or older, and major improvements at the city’s wastewater treatment plant where most of its components were installed in the 1950s.

Adkins said the cost to address the overflows is estimated between $80 and $250 million; to repair and rehabilitate the sewer system will cost an estimated $142 million; and to make the needed improvements at the wastewater treatment plant is estimated at $68 million.

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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 03 2015 at 7:49pm
Adkins said that major capital improvements over the next 25 years will be needed for the city’s aging combined sanitary and stormwater sewage system.
The city’s lines get overloaded with rain water and sewage overflows at several points along the Great Miami River, Adkins said. In addition, to addressing the overflow issues, extensive rehabilitation of the city’s sewer system, which nearly half of the system is 50 years or older, and major improvements at the city’s wastewater treatment plant where most of its components were installed in the 1950s.
Adkins said the cost to address the overflows is estimated between $80 and $250 million; to repair and rehabilitate the sewer system will cost an estimated $142 million; and to make the needed improvements at the wastewater treatment plant is estimated at $68 million.

So, as Vivian has asked, you know the cost for fixing these issues Adkins. What is the current balance in the sewer fund from money collected over the years. You have given us the dollar amounts that are needed but you didn't tell us how much money the city has in the sewer fund against the amount needed. Simple question....how much money is in the sewer fund, how much are you currently collecting each year to place into the fund and that will allow us to verify how short the account is to justify this increase. It may also tell us if the city has raided yet another fund to supply the black hole General Fund for pet project distribution under the radar.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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