Council advances water, sewer rate increases

Rose appointed to council

Swanton Village Council last Monday approved the second reading of ordinances to increase water and sewer rates. Both ordinances passed 5-0 with newly appointed council member Craig Rose abstaining.

The cost of village water and sewer projects were key to the need for increased rates, according to village officials.

“This is the first time since 2012 the Village of Swanton has entertained raising utility rates. Water and sewer infrastructure projects in that same time period exceeded $4 million,” said Rosanna Hoelzle, village administrator. ‘Water and sewer are industries of rising costs due to expanding regulations at the State and Federal levels, deteriorating infrastructure as well as increasing operations and maintenance expenses. These systems are multi-million dollar assets that require sufficient funding to be maintained both at the present time and in the future.”

One more reading is required for the ordinances to go into effect.

If final approval is given, the rates will increase on Oct. 1 with further increases in January 2018, January 2019, January 2020, and an automatic increase each year beginning in January 2021.

If the increase goes into effect the monthly base rate for water would increase from $22.11 to $25.43 on Oct. 1. The base rate would then increase to $26.70 at the start of 2018.

The monthly base rate for sewer would increase from $20.38 to $23.44. The base rate would then increase to $24.61 in January 2018.

Also at the meeting, four fire and rescue employees were promoted to full time. They were Anthony Bernal, Kate Cleland, Daniel Johnson, and Kyle Woods.

Other business

• Council approved emergency resolutions to authorize the village administrator to apply for Ohio Public Works Commission funding. One application would be for the sewer separation project on Lawrence Avenue, Harrison Avenue, and part of Church Street. The other would be for road projects in 2018.

• Hoelzle reported that the Plan Commission approved a digital sign at Dental Health Associates and the addition to Swanton Elementary School on Crestwood Drive. The commission also approved two fences for Mail Pouch Saloon, but denied a sign on both faces of the building and a 10-foot tall fence around storage units. An appeal is possible.

• It was reported that a recent water main break on Airport Highway near Valleywood Golf Club was not the result of village work. An $2,371.25 invoice was sent to the Ohio Department of Transportation to recoup the costs incurred to repair the break.

Rose appointed to council