New Waterford continues work on sewer, water hikes

NEW WATERFORD – During a special meeting on Tuesday, village council heard a second reading on legislation to raise water and sewer base rates beginning in September.

The first reading was held on June 11 when Mayor Shane Patrone and Fiscal Officer Dave Slagle explained the numbers and how the village’s ineligibility to acquire grant money to help replace water and sewer lines was hurting it.

Slagle said the village needs a $7 million fix to replace all of its water lines and about $8 million for the sewer lines.

Council views a base-rate structuring as the first step in addressing the problem while eventually reaching a $25.25 base rate for water and $25.25 base rate for sewer by 2017.

Dealing with the water side first, the base rate will increase from $19.75 to $22.25 on Sept. 1 and will reach $25.25 in December with another three dollar increase and bring it to grant eligibility.

There will be no increases until January of 2015 when the base sewer rate will increase from $15.25 to $17.25 with another two dollar increase in July of 2015 to $19.25; another two dollar increase will occur in January of 2016 to $21.25 and then in July of 2016 another two dollar increase to $23.25; and a final two dollar increase in 2017 will bring it to $25.25.

Slagle said U.S. Census numbers are used by grant and low-interest loan agencies like the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Department of Development, the Ohio Water Development Authority and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and according 2010 census numbers the MHI for the village increased by over $10,000 since the 2000 census to $41,750.

In other action, Council approved a road use maintenance agreement (RUMA) by emergency measure with Pennant Midstream LLC for .43 miles of Crestview Road inside the village limits during the meeting.

Patrone said the Pennant Midstream will use a portion of the road as a secondary route when it lays pipe lines as part of 50 miles of 20-inch gathering pipeline facilities is installing in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

“They were under the assumption that Crestview Road was entirely in the county,” Patrone said and council passed the RUMA with a unanimous 6-0 vote and without a third-party bonding agreement.

Patrone said council also approved two Local Government Funding measures to to exclude Salem from the alternative distribution method and approving the distribution method.

During a Finance Committee meeting, Patrone said discussions were held regarding a new water billing system to replace the current, 20-year-old system.

The village fishing tournament will be held at 10 a.m., July 6 in the park.