MIAMI COUNTY — Piqua county sanitary sewer service customers will see an increase in their rates in February.
On Thursday, the commissioners approved a 30 percent increase for the Piqua Supplied System. Troy county sewer customers will see an increase of 1.5 percent, Clark County customers’ rates will go up by 3.5 percent.
The increased rates will go into effect on the February 2019 bill.
According to Miami County Sanitary Engineer Paul Huelskamp’s proposal, the average amount used is 4,000 gallons. The proposal estimated that the average user would see their bill increase by about $9.87, from $57.87 to $67.74.
Huelskamp told the commissioners last week that the Piqua supplied system has lost nearly $80,000 in the last five years. Through September of this year, the system has lost about $30,000, he said.
Huelskamp told the board that the 30 percent increase might not fully “close the gap.”
The board also approved the appropriations for 2019, which total $34 million.
Commissioner Jack Evans thanked the county’s department heads for their help in putting together a conservative budget.
“We’ve been very fortunate because of the proper work in the last couple of years to increase some of our reserves for projects that we are going to have upcoming and won’t have to go out and borrow as much because we’ll have the money to do it,” Evans said.
According to Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien, a large portion of the budget goes to law enforcement and the courts — about $19 million. The sheriff’s office budget will increase in 2019 by $933,000.
Commissioner Greg Simmons commended Sheriff Dave Duchak for being “innovative” and bringing in revenue by renting out bed space in the county’s jail and incarceration facility. In 2019, the sheriff’s office will re-open the fourth and last pod in the facility.
The fourth pod is projected to bring in about $1 million a year in revenue, O’Brien said.
In other business, the commissioners approved the creation of a human resource director position and appointed Human Resources Manager Tammie Hoover.
The commissioners thanked Hoover for her hard work. Evans said the new position will give her “a little more control of the situation.” O’Brien called her a “diligent worker” who looks out for the best interests of the county.
The board also bid farewell to O’Brien at his last meeting and thanked him for his 12 years of service to the county.
O’Brien said he met and worked with some great people in the last 12 years.
“I’ll miss a lot of things in county government, there’s some things I’m not going to miss at all. But the things I miss will outweigh the things I won’t significantly,” he said. “The county’s in good hands.”
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org