By jeanne starmack
Representatives from six communities have negotiated a water-rate increase with Aqua Ohio.
Robert Carcelli III, who was in on the negotiations for Struthers, said a three-year agreement was reached after two meetings this month. The other communities that make up the Struthers Division of Aqua customers are Boardman, Poland Township, Coitsville Township, Beaver Township and Lowellville. The meetings took place in Struthers.
Aqua had proposed an increase of 6.5 percent. Carcelli and Struthers Mayor Terry Stocker said the committee negotiated a 5.1 percent increase for the first year and a 4.95 percent increase for the last two years of the pact.
That amounts to 85 cents a month for a family of two and $1.70 a month for a larger family, they said.
The increase takes effect in January.
Stocker said Aqua does not go to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for approval for rate increases.
“They would rather deal with us locally,” he said.
Stocker said Aqua wants to put $1.4 million into capital improvements in the Struthers Division.
Stocker said he believes the community representative negotiated the best deal they could. “We felt we weren’t going to do much better than that,” he said.
The division has 19,000 customers.