Residents could be getting water, sewer bills break

LEETONIA -Village Council is hoping to give residents a break on their water and sewer bills over the next few years.

Clerk Randy Chismar reported at a finance committee meeting last week that the sewer debt should be paid off by this time next year, freeing up $180,000 annually. He said that enough will be collected by January 2016 that council should be able to start using the excess.

Council members expressed hope that the savings can be passed on to customers, ultimately at approximately 75 percent of the excess. Chismar suggested not exceeding 75 percent so that money will be left in reserve for other projects.

Chismar also suggested slowly lowering the bills, such as 10 percent each year, so that the charges will not have to be increased again right away in case of an emergency.

In other business Chismar reported that the balance is up over $59,000 from this time last year. He noted that last year was up $30,000 from the prior year, so over two years, the balance is up nearly $90,000.

This year’s revenue and appropriation statistics show an impressive gain, as well, Chismar said, with revenue 55 percent above projection and appropriations 37 percent below estimated. The statistics are village wide, Chismar noted, so even though the street fund was hurt by the severe winter, the village’s general fund remains healthy.

Additionally Chismar reported that income tax collection is also increasing, with the fund projected at a cash balance of over $300,000 at the end of the year if the current collection rate continues.