Commission to vote on rate increases

By Sam Wildow -

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission will be voting on raising water and wastewater rates for the next four years during their next meeting on Tuesday evening.

The commission will hear the third readings, then vote on ordinances that will raise water rates by 10 percent for each new year beginning with 2017 and ending with 2020. Wastewater rates will also increase by 20 percent each year for the next four years.

These increases are meant to pay for the new Water Treatment Plant along with other water and wastewater infrastructure projects, including the water lines for the new plant, the new water tower, improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the automated metering system

The average monthly water rate for a residential home with four people will increase from $61.88 to $68.07, according to the city of Piqua. 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.

Wastewater service fees increases will not be effective until October should they be approved. 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 combined cost of $3.05 to $5.27 in October and $6.32 in 2018.

The city has previously stated that if these increases are not approved, the city would not have enough funds to pay for the debt service on the loan for the new Water Treatment Plant and other water infrastructure projects. The funds for the water and wastewater facilities also have to be self-supporting, meaning that the city does not have the option to subsidize those improvements with the city’s general fund.

The commission also will consider extending a marijuana moratorium. The moratorium was approved six months ago to prevent granting any permit allowing retail dispensaries, cultivators, or processors of medical marijuana within the city for 180 days. Since that 180-day period has expired, the city is asking to extend the moratorium for another 180 days.

In addition, the commission will discuss taking ownership of the former Bennett Intermediate School site, which is currently a vacant lot. The Piqua City School board of education will sell the property, located at 625 S. Main St., to the city for $1. The site is expected to be used for the city’s Downtown Riverfront Redevelopment Strategy.

This commission meeting will be held on Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. It will take place in commission chambers on the second floor of the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336