About 13,000 county customers are served by the city's sewer treatment plant.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The phones at the Mahoning County sanitary engineer's office have been ringing off the hook with calls from Boardman and Austintown.
They're concerned that they'll get dumped on with higher sewer rates when Youngstown's rates go up in October. But officials at the county sanitary engineer's office said that's not going to happen.
"We have a negotiated rate schedule in place," said Bill Coleman, office manager. "Regardless of what the city does with their rates, it will not affect our customers."
County's own system
Mahoning County operates its own sanitary sewer system, with treatment plants at various places around the county. But about 13,000 county customers are served by Youngstown's sewage treatment plant on Poland Avenue.
Those 13,000 customers are mostly from Austintown, Boardman and part of Poland Township, said Joseph Warino, sanitary engineer.
After city officials recently announced that sewer rates for city customers will increase 33 percent over the next three years, county customers became concerned their rates would go up as well because their sewage is treated at the city's plant.
But Warino said the city and county negotiated a five-year rate plan in 1999 and those rates are locked in, no matter what the city charges its customers.
"We don't have any immediate need to change our rate schedule," Warino said. "If a customer belongs to our system, the city's rate increase will not affect them."