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LORDSTOWN Water bills to go up

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Bills reflecting the increase were mailed out this week.
LORDSTOWN -- To cover increases in costs for bulk water and to maintain the drive to become self-sufficient, water users in the village will pick up some of the difference.
Bills reflecting the rise in water rates for residents and businesses were mailed out starting this week, said Ruth Ann Horvath, clerk of the board of public affairs.
The increases -- about 70 cents for every 1,000 gallons used -- mean residents will pay roughly an additional $5 to $10 each bill. The department bills quarterly.
Businesses will see similar increases in their bills.
"It's pretty much the same across the board," Horvath said.
Increased rates
The board approved the increases after receiving a letter from Niles stating the village's bulk rates would increase.
Niles and Youngstown buy water in bulk from the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District, then resell it to other communities. Lordstown buys its water from Niles. Niles raised its water rates by 20 percent, the first increase in three years. Youngstown increased its rates by 81/2 percent.
For Lordstown, Horvath said, the new rates reflect about a 25 percent increase. By gradually raising rates to its residents and businesses, the extra money will help the water department toward its goal of self-sufficiency, she said.
The water department is subsidized by council through the general fund, she said. "It's been that way for the entire existence of the department."
Department officials hope within five years it will be taking in enough money to support its own budget, instead of relying on the general fund, Horvath said.