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Water, Sewer Fees Going Up in 2013

Lakewood City Council passed the increase as part of the 2013 budget on Monday.

Water and sewer bills will be going up for residents in 2013, as Lakewood City Council passed the increased fees during its meeting on Monday. 

Jennifer R. Pae, director of finance, said the water fees will increase by 3 percent and the sewer fees will increase by 10 percent. 

One reason for the increase is that people are using less water. Mayor Michael Summers told Patch earlier this month that the decrease in usage doesn't lessen the cost to maintain the system—costs have to go up to make up the difference.

Additionally, the city plans to replace water meters at businesses and homes, Pae said after the meeting.

Council passed the increases as part of the budget for 2013 at its final meeting of the year on Monday. 

For more on the 2013 budget, check Lakewood Patch on Tuesday afternoon. 

Chris Olsen December 18, 2012 at 11:58 AM
yeah, this all makes sense now...lets teach ourselves to conserve natural resources and save the earth and do the right thing, but, it will cost you more becasue although less is being used, we still have to maintain a revenue stream....i understand improvements to an aging system and always wanting to stay current with the technology but uhhhhhhhhhh, did you already know that the system was aging and in need of updates like 30 years ago? its called planning ahead.....now Lakewood becomes even more expensive to live in....been here for 45 years and have seen a lot of positives and negatives but the scale is beginning to turn again, time to rethink where i will be moving for retirement....
Michael Rice December 18, 2012 at 01:07 PM
What Chris said...
Pat Ballasch December 18, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Water / sewer fees have been creeping up for some time. It seemed at one time the water dept. was being used as a cash cow for funding other things. A couple of years ago a reason for a water/ sewer increase was the E.P.A. regulations kicking in. Some sewer projects presumably needed funding. There were several public meetings. Will someone (in the know) show the residents a graph of the increases in rates & what triggered them? That would be a nice show of keeping residents informed.
Jenn Pae December 18, 2012 at 03:03 PM
There will be a fact sheet available in the upcoming weeks that will be inserted into Water & Sewer Bills, and will be published in a press release and on the City webpage. In the meantime, here are a few facts: In 2005, Lakewood voters repealed the law that required any rate increases had to be voted on and eliminated the $3.00 monthly service fee. This previous law made it difficult to invest in the City's water and sewer infrastructure. It was then that Lakewood was beginning to work with the EPA to develop a long-term control plan, which is still continuing today and will for years to come. Since 2005 there have been annual water and sewer rate increases to support the investments in the ground. In fact, staffing in the water and sewer departments have decreased. Beginning January 1, 2013, there will be a 3% increase in water rates meaning that regular rates will go from $5.93 per ccf to $6.11 per ccf. This increase supports the City’s portion of Ohio Public Works Commission waterline repair projects and the implementation of the $3.4 million Water Meter Replacement Project. The 10% increase in sewer rates raises regular rates from $3.99 per ccf to $4.39 per ccf. This is to support the City’s compliance with Storm Water and Long-Term Control Plan Projects. The impact on my family who typically sees a monthly bill with 6 ccf consumption will go from around $59.00 to $63.00 a month, or about a $4 monthly increase. Respectfully, Jennifer Pae Director of Finance
Peter Grossetti December 18, 2012 at 04:15 PM
... and rents will go up as landlords try to recoup this expense.
Dr. Larry Keller December 18, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Lakewood, as does many 100 year old plus communities, have aging infrastructure. We must maintain this. In the past, EPA had grants available which helped spread the cost of local infrastructure over all cities. As many wanted a smaller federal government, many of those grants contracted if not disappeared. This put the infrastructure burden on older cities which had often postponed maintenance. As a society we have put more dollars into new construction through urban sprawl rather than rebuild existing systems. That is not sustainable and the increased cost is reasonable - and overdue.
Rachel Abbey McCafferty December 18, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Thanks for adding this, Jennifer.
Nick December 18, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Thanks
Kristen Bindel December 18, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Thank you Jenn
Charlene Hall December 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM
I am just curious as to why Lakewood residents seem to pay as much as 2 times as much as other cities, I pay on the average with just 3 people in my home 100 dollars a month, compared to my sister who lives in Brunswick and who pays that much every 3 months and my other sister who lives in Westpark who pays about 80 every 3 months
Denise December 19, 2012 at 02:49 AM
And don't forget while you're paying more, you always wind up getting less. Like a back porch that is coming away from the building and is leaning. Like major cracks in the walls and holes in the ceiling. But does the city care about any of that??? NO.
Pat Ballasch December 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Thanks Jen. Every story needs the background information to make sense.

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