CLEVELAND -- The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has set seven meetings for public input prior to its proposed 2012 sewer rate hike.
The NEORSD board is expected to vote on the hike during its regularly scheduled public meeting on either June 2 or June 16 at 12:30 p.m. in the George McMonagle Administrative Building.
In June 2011, the Sewer District staff will ask the Board of Trustees to consider the adoption of a rate increase.
Beginning in 2012 through 2016, the anticipated rate increase is expected to be an additional $14 a quarter per year for the average user, which is equivalent to an average increase of 13 percent per year.
At theupcoming community meetings, NEORSD representatives will discuss changes to the minimum charge fee and additions to the rate savings programs, including a crisis voucher and income-based rate reduction, as well.
Customers will have the option to sign up for current rate savings programs - Homestead Program (must meet eligibility requirements) and the Summer Sprinkling Program.
Applications will not be available for the new rate savings programs until mid-summer.
Here are the meeting dates and locations:
- Wednesday, April 6 - 7 p.m. Maple Heights Library, 5225 Library Lane
- Monday, April 11 - 7 p.m. Beachwood Recreation Center, 25325 Fairmount Blvd.
- Tuesday, April 19 - 7 p.m. Barlow Community Center, 41 S. Oviatt Street, Hudson
- Tuesday, April 26 - 7 p.m. Gunning Recreation Center, 16700 Puritas Road, Cleveland
- Wednesday, May 4 - 7 p.m. Middleburg Heights Recreation Center, 16000 Bagley Road
- Saturday, May 14 - 9 a.m. Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant*14021 Lakeshore Blvd., Cleveland
- Date To be determined - 9 a.m. Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant* (Please park at NEORSD's Environmental Maintenance & Service Center, 4747 East 49th Street, Cuyahoga Heights
***For those who attend the last two meetings at the treatment plants, NEORSD will offer tours of the facility at the conclusion of the presentation. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required.
"We are very sensitive to these tough economic times," said Jennifer Demmerle, director of finance for the Sewer District. "We worked extremely hard to minimize the total increase while enhancing affordability programs, so that those most in need will have some relief."
Rate increases are necessary to maintain and update the current infrastructure, including 300 miles of sewer pipe, three wastewater treatment plants and other sewer facilities within the 62-community service area.
Additionally, of the average 13 percent increase, approximately 4 percent of the rate increase will cover the costs of Project Clean Lake, an initiative to reduce the amount of raw sewage entering local water bodies, including Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, during heavy rain events.