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MVSD: Raise water rates

Published: Wed, December 22, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.


MVSD Director Tom Holloway

By Jordan Cohen



The Mahoning Valley Sanitary District is seeking water-rate increases in the second and third years of a three-year plan.

The district supplies water to Youngstown, Niles and McDonald and sells under the name Meander Water.

The board of MVSD will ask the Mahoning and Trumbull County Court of Jurisdiction to adopt the plan it approved Tuesday.

The plan would freeze the current rate from last July until June 30, 2011. The cost to consumers would be increased by 9.9 percent on July 1, 2011, and again by 11.8 percent in July 2012, said Thomas Holloway, chief engineer.

“We’re raising this [rate] by 15 cents per 1,000 gallons in the second year and 20 cents [per 1,000 gallons] in the third,” Holloway said. “That means it’s only a 75-cents monthly increase for the average family of four that uses around 5,000 gallons a month.”

Using those figures, the residential cost for the same average usage would increase by $1 per month in the third year.

MVSD charges only the municipalities, which then bill residential and commercial customers.

Holloway said maintaining the current rate will generate $10.4 million in revenue in the first year. In the second year, revenue will climb to $12.4 million and to $14 million in the third.

“We need this increase to cover increasing bills such as electricity and gasoline,” said Mark Memmer, board president. Holloway said the district’s electric bill averages $1 million each year.

“In addition, we have a number of capital improvements that are necessary to improve our facilities,” Holloway said, noting that the board is spending $330,000 for sludge removal. The chief engineer also pointed to rusted pieces of metal on a table in front of the board.

“These are from a seal-and-receiver gate in the reservoir, and they’re 80 years old,” Holloway said. “That’s why we need these improvements.”

Holloway and several MVSD board members had separate meetings with each municipality before announcing the rate request. “We didn’t hear any objections from any of them,” the chief engineer said.

A court of jurisdiction, composed of common pleas Judges Peter Kontos in Trumbull County and James Evans in Mahoning County, has to approve the rate increase. Holloway anticipated the petition will be brought before the court within 30 days.

The MVSD has traditionally acted on rates every three years. Holloway said the last rate increases enacted in 2007 were slightly higher than those approved by the board.

In one other item, Holloway reported the heavy snow and the rain that preceded it increased the Meander Reservoir level by 2 billion gallons in slightly more than three weeks. He called it unusual but said it places the MVSD “in a good position” for next spring and summer.


1Carter(1 comment)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

If the water rate is going up dosen't this raise the sewer cost also? Seems to me that the increase in your water bill will be alot more than what they are telling you. Hate when they blindside ya!!
Just a guess.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

80% of any water rate increase goes to increase the overly generous pay and benefits for MVSD workers. Watch for the pay increases when they implement the new water rates just like happened with the CSB. Who are these people trying to fool? Not ME!

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3author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Are they going to start a "Good Government Fund" again?

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4NoBS(2757 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Electricity rates and gasoline costs haven't risen that much over the past couple of years. And they're not using appreciably more than they had been.

I agree with the previous poster who observed that the way things are done around here is to do zero maintenance, wait for something to completely fail or fall apart, then act as if this is a completely unforeseen catastrophe that needs huge piles of money thrown at it NOW.

It's time for new leadership out there - people who actually want to do what's right.

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5typical(9 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

If you read the article you would see that MVSD charges only the municipalities for the rate increase. How much OUR sewer and water bill increases over the $.75/month is up to the Cities of Youngstown/Niles and McDonald. I'm quite certain MVSD DOES maintain their facilities very well. If you've ever been on a tour at that facility you would see that. The problem is that I'm sure these are quite costly to replace and need to be planned for, etc. I will gladly give MVSD $.75/month to have the best tasting water around!!

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6AtownParent(565 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

So MVSD wants to increase rates on top of the already increased rates that the City of Youngstown has implemented. Great...

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7palbubba(802 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Everyone needs an increase except those of us on Social Security. I recently had a small leak in a basement toilet which I never use. This ended up giving me a water and sewage bill of over $770 for one month because it must have been leaking for 2 months and the usage was an "estimate" for the first month making the bill for that month normal. The Youngstown Water and Waste Water departments don't know how to spell mercy. That means that someone who has had no increase for two years in a row now has to pay a $770 water bill. Yet they need an increase.

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8Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

This is far better than a tax increase for the city . Got a high water bill ? Have that meter tested .

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9Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

We just had a water increase of 50% didnt we?

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