MVSD Council approves rate increase

The MVSD will petition the court of jurisdiction for rate increases.
NILES -- It was water, water everywhere for city council members as they addressed several issues.
Council approved a resolution Wednesday accepting the recommendations of Tom Holloway, chief engineer of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District, for capital improvements needed at the facility off Salt Springs Road.
Niles and Youngstown are the member cities of the MVSD, which supplies wholesale water to the communities, who then sell it to more than 300,000 combined residential and business customers.
MVSD officials needed the resolution from Niles, and a similar one from Youngstown, to present to the court of jurisdiction to raise rates to pay for the improvements. Councilman Frank Fuda said Youngstown council passed its version of the resolution last week.
If the court of jurisdiction -- comprised of one judge each from Mahoning and Trumbull counties -- approves the rate-increase request, the member cities can decide whether to absorb the increases or pass on a portion or all of them to their customers.
Niles Mayor Ralph A. Infante said in Niles' case, the increase would probably be passed on to consumers and amount to about 80 cents per month. He noted the last rate increase approved for the MVSD more than three years ago was absorbed by the city of Niles and not paid by its customers.
Flood damage
Also at the meeting, council agreed to forgo the bidding process and allow Service Director Donald Allen to have pumps and motors at the city's wastewater treatment plant repaired as soon as possible.
Water department Supervisor Randy Fabrizio said heavy rains Aug. 27 and 28 flooded the treatment plant and severely damaged four motors and four raw-sewage pumps.
He added, though, that the costs will be covered by the city's insurance.
Council also agreed to allow Allen to execute an easement for Lordstown to allow for the construction of a 24-inch waterline from the MVSD plant to the village. A portion of the waterline's construction will fall on city property.
Lordstown is constructing the line to provide a redundant water supply for the General Motors plants in the village. The construction of the line was part of an agreement between the village, the state and GM last year in negotiations for the plant to stay in the area.
GM officials had considered closing the facility after production of the Chevrolet Cavalier was stopped but instead decided to renovate the plant and produce the new Chevrolet Cobalt.

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