Council committee to consider 3% increase in sewer rates

The city may have to raise sewer rates by 3% this year, members of the Bucyrus City Council service committee said.

“I know it’s hard on people now, but we have to keep the sewage plant running, and the cost of chemicals and everything is going up, like everything else,” committee chair Terry Spiegel said. , R-Third Ward, during the meeting on Thursday. He was once superintendent of the factory.

Wastewater tariffs automatically increased by 3% each year, with the last increase in August 2021, he explained.

“No other increases are legislated at this time, and the way things are going, with inflationary costs, I think we’re going to have to keep that at 3%, at least for the next two years,” he said. he declared. He later said the board could revisit the issue next year to see if further increases would be needed.

In addition to the cost of the chemicals needed to treat the water, the plant must also pay EPA fees, he said,

On the average bill, the 3% increase would equal $12 a year, Spiegel said. “It’s about 60 cents on the minimum amount per month, so it’s a very minimum amount. But for some people, I know it would hurt. But it’s something we have to do.”

“It’s going to hurt a lot,” said committee member C. Aaron Sharrock, D-Second Ward.

Spiegel agreed.

“We have to do what we have to do to keep it working,” he said. The treatment plant is currently operating with a staff of three, he added. “They’re down to minimal staff.”

The possible increase will be discussed again at the next board meeting, he said.

Local resident Robert Taylor, 411 Plymouth St., asked if grants or waivers might be available from the state.

Spiegel said he doesn’t believe it, especially with the city under a US EPA administrative order.

“Right now the budget is really tight,” Spiegel said. “If we don’t keep up the pace now, we’re going to be so far down the hole that it’s going to be hard to get out.”

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