PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission will be voting on a large agenda Tuesday evening, including increasing water and wastewater rates.
The commission will be hearing the first reading of an ordinance to increase water rates, which shows a series of increasing rates by 10 percent for each new year beginning with 2017 and ending with 2020.
According to an exhibit included in the agenda, the average monthly rate for a residential home with four people will increase from $61.88 to $68.07. For a small commercial business, it will increase from $137.15 to $147.09. For an industrial business, it will increase from $2,041.63 to $2,245.16.
According to the ordinance, the current monthly charge for the first 1,000 gallons of water for a customer with a meter size of 5/8-inch is $19.28, which will increase to $21.21. The charges increase with the size of the water meter.
In excess of the first 1,000 gallons, but not exceeding 25,000 gallons, the charge will increase from $7.10 to $7.81 per 1,000 gallons. The ordinance continues with smaller increments of increases for charges relating to various brackets of water usage.
The charges for the installation of new water services is also set to increase for the next four years in this ordinance.
According to the staff report, these increases are to support water projects like the new water plant, the new water tower, and automated metering system. Many of those investments and replacements in water facility and infrastructure is due to mandates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As these increases are set up in an ordinance, the commission would normally have three readings before voting on the ordinance. The ordinance does state that the first increase is set to be effective Jan. 1, so the commission can decide to vote on the ordinance as an emergency and pass it Tuesday evening, their last regular meeting before the new year. The ordinance is not noted as an emergency in the current agenda.
The next ordinance will also be in regard to increasing fees for building sewer permits. For the smallest size, a 1-inch tap, the fee will increase from $350 to $420. For the largest size, an 8-inch tap and above, the fee will increase from $10,000 to $12,000.
Wastewater service fees will also increase by 20 percent each year for the next four years under this ordinance, which do not appear to be effective until October. The base charges of operation and maintenance as well as capital costs appear to be combined under the new system. The previous combined cost for the total base charge of $9.66 for the first 1,000 gallons per month will increase to $16.67 in October and to $20 in 2018.
After the first 1,000 gallons, the volume charge per 1,000 gallons will increase from the combine cost of $3.05 to $5.27 in October and $6.32 in 2018.
According to the staff report, these increased costs are attributed to EPA mandates that require significant wastewater plant expansion to be made. These costs will also contribute to the automated metering system that is to be installed throughout the city.
Also on the commission’s agenda:
• Second readings of ordinances in regard to 2 percent raises for city employee and employee insurance for 2017
• Ordinances making appropriations for the city and resolutions authorizing transfers of cash from the general fund to other funds for the fiscal years 2016 and 2017
• A resolution purchasing property and liability insurance from Miami Valley Risk Management Association for a cost not to exceed $287,729
• A resolution acquiring cleaning services from Master Maintenance for total annual cost of $27,279
• A resolution allowing the city manager to apply for city membership to American Municipal Power, Inc., at a cost of $25,000
• A resolution retaining the services of Cooperative Response Center, Inc., to provide customer call answering and dispatch services for the Piqua Power System at a cost of $30,000
• A resolution allowing the purchase of fuel oil as needed for 2017, which is a budgeted amount of $75,000
• A resolution retaining the consulting and engineering services of Sawvel and Associates for the Piqua Power System at a cost not to exceed $60,000
• A resolution to vacate a public right-of-way located at an alley north of South Street and west of College Street
• Resolutions authorizing the city manager to enter into collective bargaining agreements with union employees, including firefighters
The next commission meeting will take place on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in commission chambers on the second floor of the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St.
Reach Sam Wildow at email@example.com or (937) 451-3336