Toledo Talk

Toledo City Council approves sewer rate increase... $78 more every quarter!?!?

Toledo City Council today voted 11-1 to approve new sewer rate increases for those in the city.

The new rate plan calls for 7.1 percent annual increases through 2019 and a 7.9 percent increase in 2020.

By 2020, average homeowners in the city — defined as those who produce 3,000 cubic feet of sewage per quarter, a volume typical for a family of four — will pay $228.14 every three months for sewage, up from the current rate of $150.05.

The money is required, city leaders say, to fund upgrades for the city‘‍s waterways inititiave to help keep sewage out of the area’‍s waterways.

Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/08/26/Toledo-City-Council-approves-sewer-rate-increase.html#r3hYRHJQLkYL9Ahp.99

created by Walleye419 on Aug 26, 2014 at 08:46:36 pm     Comments: 15

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Comments ... #

If things stay the way they are, I'll be spending more on bottled water and brita filters in 2020. I'm totally for the increase if it actually promises better water for Toledo. It's really not a lot of money in the scheme of things. Less than a thousand bucks a year for your family of 4 to have clean water in the home.

No, I'm kidding. This is insane.

posted by nits on Aug 26, 2014 at 10:47:37 pm     #  

Aren't all of you actually already paying and have been paying for clean water all this time?

posted by MIJeff on Aug 26, 2014 at 11:38:36 pm     #   1 person liked this

As we have a number of people who are delinquent on property taxes, it's only fitting to ask how many people are delinquent on their water bills...then ask what is being done to collect.

Detroit's water department has a $90 million hole. While Toledo's hole is probably smaller, my hunch is there's a pool of money that is owed.

Before I'm asked to cough up more to "fix" things, I want to know how many "I don't have to pay my bill...water is my RIGHT" assholes I'm supporting.

posted by oldhometown on Aug 27, 2014 at 02:11:11 am     #   2 people liked this

I know they come on the same bill, but there seems to be confusion in the community between the water department and the wastewater treatment and sewer system. Someone correct me if I don't have this quite right.

The Waterways Initiative is the result of the agreement we have with the EPA to reduce and eliminate combined sewer overflow discharges. While they have a very indirect impact on the drinking water quality, (the cleaner the lake water is, the easier it is to treat) this is the sanitary/storm systems. This is to keep poo out of the river, as opposed to your faucet.
Having clean water in your home is a different plant, and a different project.

posted by justread on Aug 27, 2014 at 06:59:37 am     #  

justread posted at 06:59:37 AM on Aug 27, 2014:

I know they come on the same bill, but there seems to be confusion in the community between the water department and the wastewater treatment and sewer system. Someone correct me if I don't have this quite right.

The Waterways Initiative is the result of the agreement we have with the EPA to reduce and eliminate combined sewer overflow discharges. While they have a very indirect impact on the drinking water quality, (the cleaner the lake water is, the easier it is to treat) this is the sanitary/storm systems. This is to keep poo out of the river, as opposed to your faucet.
Having clean water in your home is a different plant, and a different project.

I believe you are correct.

What I'm questioning is for how long and how much are they going to 'blame' on the EPA settlement? I remember when it was first settled years ago, and they talked about the increasing rates. What I don't remember is them saying that they are going to have to increase rates several times, over two decades. Is the community being hosed? Where did the money go from the first rate increases right after the settlement? And will it really be over in 2020? I'm betting not.

posted by MrsArcher on Aug 27, 2014 at 09:33:16 am     #  

I'm already paying $300 a quarter.

posted by JeepMaker on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:20:52 am     #  

Even though my water and sewer rates have doubled in the last ten years I applaud this decision my our trusted elected officials. I only hope that this rate increase does not apply to our lower income residents.

Please.... please give our Government more control of the necessary services we require!

posted by Danneskjold on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:44:41 am     #  

Danneskjold posted at 10:44:41 AM on Aug 27, 2014:

Even though my water and sewer rates have doubled in the last ten years I applaud this decision my our trusted elected officials. I only hope that this rate increase does not apply to our lower income residents.

Please.... please give our Government more control of the necessary services we require!

My only objection to more government control would be to see what they did at the IRS, determining access or service based on politics is not something I want to see be any deciding factor for future service, regardless of what party is in control. that being said there isn't any competition for city services like sewer/water and i dont see any in the future, you can't opt out of it. I would like to see a more transparent accounting to the public of what they are doing, how much they are spending, on what they are spending it on. You could even go as far as disclosing number of people there are working in those departments and what jobs are they holding. You don't need to give names to give numbers and wages. Give all the info while protecting those individuals privacy and let the people see what they are paying for. I think this would eliminate the rumors of excess personnel and created positions for nepotism and the like.

posted by MIJeff on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:16:11 am     #  

Danneskjold posted at 10:44:41 AM on Aug 27, 2014:

Even though my water and sewer rates have doubled in the last ten years I applaud this decision my our trusted elected officials. I only hope that this rate increase does not apply to our lower income residents.

Please.... please give our Government more control of the necessary services we require!

You almost had me there for a second. :)

posted by justread on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:49:48 am     #  

Ditto. :P

posted by Mariner on Aug 27, 2014 at 12:08:09 pm     #  

Yeah, God knows we wouldn't want government in the water business -- that would best be handled by private industry! There would be no rate increases, we could shop for different water suppliers, if the system wasn't working, we could vote the CEOs out of office...

Oh, wait.

posted by Anniecski on Aug 27, 2014 at 01:25:49 pm     #  

justread posted at 06:59:37 AM on Aug 27, 2014:

I know they come on the same bill, but there seems to be confusion in the community between the water department and the wastewater treatment and sewer system. Someone correct me if I don't have this quite right.

The Waterways Initiative is the result of the agreement we have with the EPA to reduce and eliminate combined sewer overflow discharges. While they have a very indirect impact on the drinking water quality, (the cleaner the lake water is, the easier it is to treat) this is the sanitary/storm systems. This is to keep poo out of the river, as opposed to your faucet.
Having clean water in your home is a different plant, and a different project.

As they are billed on the same document, information comes from the same website, and my funds go to the same place, whether I am paying for water or sewer, call me cynical to believe that additional funds requested will be 100% segregated for sewer/wastewater treatment.

So, my question stands: how much money is owed to this department by delinquents? How much of this additional could be discounted by simply collecting some of what is owed? Because, simply judging by stories from our neighbor up the road and other stories linked to here about other Toledo taxes (property) that appear to be viewed by many in the community as optional, I want to know how much I'm soaking up for those who don't pay.

But, given the stellar reputation of the water department and its top-notch long-term maintenance plans over the years, I'm sure my fears of massive money waste and non-collection are completely unfounded.

posted by oldhometown on Aug 27, 2014 at 02:19:02 pm     #   1 person liked this

Not to mention county and city are all on same bill, just was dealing with water bills for a client on one of his rental properties.

posted by MIJeff on Aug 27, 2014 at 02:21:35 pm     #  

My question is... if city government knew the system was going to become inadequate at some point, like back in the 1990s, why didn't they start phasing in increases for upgrades then? It seems like it took a catastrophic event for them to wake up and decide it's time to finally do something. Now, residents must bear a much higher cost of upgrading the system. This is going to overburden thousands of people who are already stretched - not just lower income ones. Gas and food prices have seen hefty inflation, and now water rates - which have doubled in the last 10 years - will be going up. Way up. It's like they lulled the masses with reasonable rates for years while ignoring a looming problem.

posted by mixman on Aug 27, 2014 at 03:04:45 pm     #  

mixman posted at 03:04:45 PM on Aug 27, 2014:

My question is... if city government knew the system was going to become inadequate at some point, like back in the 1990s, why didn't they start phasing in increases for upgrades then? It seems like it took a catastrophic event for them to wake up and decide it's time to finally do something. Now, residents must bear a much higher cost of upgrading the system. This is going to overburden thousands of people who are already stretched - not just lower income ones. Gas and food prices have seen hefty inflation, and now water rates - which have doubled in the last 10 years - will be going up. Way up. It's like they lulled the masses with reasonable rates for years while ignoring a looming problem.

I share your frustration. We voted the Waterways Initiative into existence 12 years ago. We secured some funding from alternate sources (I know, I know... some was federal tax dollars we paid in) to the tune of like, I don't know... $30M.

We were aware in 2002 that it was a $500M project and we were aware that it was not scheduled to be completed until 2020.

Ever go down Summit near Manhattan and see the "new" structures near the Bay View treatment plant? Holding tanks, if memory serves.
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.toledowaterwaysinitiative.com/

posted by justread on Aug 27, 2014 at 03:12:08 pm     #