Toledo Talk

Water bills going up?

Anyone else notice your recently utility bills going up? Our business water / sewage bill is up $200 this time around, and one of my coworkers also saw a similar increase on her home bill.

created by upso on Aug 03, 2011 at 09:44:02 am     Home     Comments: 94

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upso the cost of doing business as municipality is going up across the board. As bond rates rise (borrowing for over spending) & employee pension and healthcare cost rise, the cost of doing business is going up. I mean people at the water department don't "deserve" to pay higher cost right? Somebody has to pay the bill, while there may be no new "taxes" on the middle class, there is plenty of fees to be spread around. It's a damn shame it's small business who bears most of the burden.

Sorry for the factual "teabagger" logic.

Thank you for continuing the entrepreneurial spirit.

posted by dbw8906 on Aug 03, 2011 at 10:01:49 am     #  

What does any of that have to do with the water/sewage bill?

posted by idinspired on Aug 03, 2011 at 10:14:17 am     #   1 person liked this

I noticed my water bill is just purely insane.

We use only 2.8 units on average a day, which is amazingly low.

Here is what we have in home:
*Low flow shower head, and take times showers
*No lawn to water, we live in a townhouse without one. I do water my plants.
*Dish washer, which saves water over hand washing
*Low flow toilets
*My only large water consumer is my washing machine, which I only run with a full load.

My bill...$125 - $150 for a family of 4. WTF.

posted by OhioKimono on Aug 03, 2011 at 10:22:35 am     #   1 person liked this

My bill always seems insanely high to me, but I know that the City of Toledo passes on a lot of extra fees/surcharges to Sylvania Twp residents.

I'll have to pull out my last couple of statements to see if there was an upwards trend.

(Wasn't there something in the news in the past 6 months or so about the possibility of a future increase to the water rates?)

posted by mom2 on Aug 03, 2011 at 10:26:24 am     #  

My last one was $188. There are two of us in the house. I thought that was pretty high. I've never had one less than $125 for the past two years.

The family of 4 next door had a $250 bill last time.

posted by slowsol on Aug 03, 2011 at 10:32:26 am     #  

The political class and their public sector union pals need this extra money to prevent having to reduce salaries and lofty pensions.

People need to keep these higher water bills in mind when deciding who they vote for and when levies are on the ballot.

The political class has the power to increase water rate without any public vote.

It isn't going to change my life that my home water bill is going to rise 50-60% the next few years. However, households already on the edge, and small restaurants that are barely making ends meet now, will be sent to the graveyard from these higher costs.

I doubt it, but maybe enough people here will wake up to finally realize these people have financially buried this area.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 03, 2011 at 11:14:42 am     #   1 person liked this

Insane rates, my friend in Perrysburg routinely has quarterly bills in the $250 range, compared to my Oregon rate of around $75

posted by Hoops on Aug 03, 2011 at 11:27:44 am     #  

Am I the only one who thinks $1-3 a day for pretty much all the water a family needs, plus sewage removal from your home, is a great deal? Compare the fraction of a cent per dollar per gallon to what other alternative? I know I don't plan on putting in an outhouse anytime soon.

I'm not saying cost increases don't need to be justified (they most certainly do), but instead of whining we need to be asking the right questions to the right people. If they are replacing sewers and equipment to reduce costs and maintenance in the long haul, it might be very much worth it.

6th, can you back up your allegations? All of their books are open to inspection if you think our politicians are screwing us over on water in an attempt to "financially bury" us for their own benefit. Let's take the drama down a notch and do some critical thinking.

The political class has the power to increase water rate without any public vote.

Are you sure of this? The public may not vote on it but that does not mean an elected official (or a lackey thereof) is the one deciding the water rate.

posted by brainswell on Aug 03, 2011 at 01:16:19 pm     #   2 people liked this

There were increases passed by Toledo City Council and those were listed on my last bill so if you look carefully, you might be able to find it. I don't recall where on the bill it was, but it did detail the votes and the effective date.

Another thing to look at is water usage. We have a pool, so our water usage in the summer is pretty high. Plus watering grass, plants, etc... certainly contributes to a higher consumption.

But - and this is the important thing - our sewer rates are on our winter average, not our summer one. The city takes an average of your water usage and then bills you for sewer based upon the water average. So check what the 'average' number is they're multiplying against for your sewer portion and you may find why the bills are so high. I think all that is required is a phone call to the water department to ask for the winter average for your sewer, but I don't know when such a change will take effect.

That being said, I was examining our last water bill and found that they were charging us for an 'average' that was higher than each of our last 6 months. How our average could be higher than every individual month is beyond me, but so far, I've not been able to get through to the water department to get an explanation. When I'm the 35th person in line for the phone to be answered, I'm not inclined to remain on hold...

posted by MaggieThurber on Aug 03, 2011 at 01:19:52 pm     #  

Brainswell - I'm with you. I spend $150 per month on cable/phone/internet and don't think twice. Spending $50 per month on water, something I actually need, seems like a good deal.

posted by SensorG on Aug 03, 2011 at 01:47:07 pm     #  

I never thought much about my water bill, because I didn't have anything else to go on.

Until I helped handle some of my sister's paperwork while she was recovering from a car accident. She has higher usage than I do with only about 1/3rd of the bill.

It would be interesting to see a comparison of what average water/sewer bills are in different cities.

posted by mom2 on Aug 03, 2011 at 01:56:04 pm     #  

MrG - Must be nice to not fret about 150 dollar bill, good for you. Why don't you do your civic duty and send in a little extra for the rest of us? I'm mean you shouldn't have to wait for someone (men wit guns) to make you be a "good American" right? Have you not "made enough money"? Not calling shots on you but if you have this extra capital then why wouldn't you want to send in a couple hundy to help out with the sewer repair? It's paying your "fair share" right?

We can call clap for benefits for civil employees, I don't knock anyone for getting benes they have been offered but someone has to pay for it. If nobody is raising taxes they will find revenue streams.

Everybody wants people to have "nice stuff" but nobody wants to pay for it.

posted by dbw8906 on Aug 03, 2011 at 02:16:40 pm     #  

By "nice stuff", you mean a sewer system that doesn’t dump raw sewage into Swan Creek?

posted by SensorG on Aug 03, 2011 at 03:16:17 pm     #   3 people liked this

I think the problem is the drastic rate that the increase is. Imagine your used to buying milk for 2.99 then all of sudden it's 5.99...yeah it's only 3 bucks but that a 50% increase! I'm sure our water isn't going up 50% but it is increasing in very noticeable increments.

posted by douglasadietz on Aug 03, 2011 at 03:21:41 pm     #  

Despite the thoughts I mentioned above, I will say that if the rate increases are necessary to repair/maintain the infrastructure, then what else can we do?

(Correct me if I'm wrong on the following, because I'm going from memory...) Isn't part of the reason for a steep rate increase now, the fact that there was poor planning in the past on keeping up with the infrastructure?

If so, I think that's adding to people's frustration. Instead of having a gradual increase over the years (spread out over a larger population), people are having to deal with a large jump in the middle of a recession.

posted by mom2 on Aug 03, 2011 at 03:52:44 pm     #  

I'm sure our water isn't going up 50% but it is increasing in very noticeable increments.

Above from dougdietz.

Doug, I believe city council already voted and approved 9% water rate increases each year for the next 4 years?

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 03, 2011 at 05:26:56 pm     #  

My bill...$125 - $150 for a family of 4. WTF.

Above from OhioKim.

Don't feel left out of the robbery, for I live alone, don't water my lawn, and this year my water bills have each been between $98-105.

Additionally, I was out-of-town the entire month of March and half of April and still rec'd my highest ever water bills. It isn't just the garbage fee that put them over the century mark. For more than a decade it averaged around $40-50.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 03, 2011 at 05:32:20 pm     #  

I have been in my house doing the same things for 9 years and mine has doubled. I almost wish they sent it every month because I seem to always forget about it and then BAM!

posted by Ryan on Aug 03, 2011 at 05:52:37 pm     #  

6th, can you back up your allegations? All of their books are open to inspection if you think our politicians are screwing us over on water in an attempt to "financially bury" us for their own benefit. Let's take the drama down a notch and do some critical thinking.

Above from BIS.

Sure, where should I begin?

Their "books" were open to inspection last year and what did Mayor Bell actually do to cut spending and balance the 40 or so million dollar deficit?

The first thing he and his administration gave cops and fireman raises. Claiming to be "saving money" by making it payable this year (with 5% interest added.)

Next, council added the ticket tax. It wasn't a significant amount of money, but still it set a bad precedent. Another money grab...plain and simple.

Then they removed the city income tax credit for those living in, but working outside the city. To quote the mayor when asked why: "Because pissing off 19k residents is easier than pissing off 100k+ residents." He said that at one of his public hearings last year.

The final act of robbery by local political leaders and stupidity by voters, came when they made a ballot request to be able to move money from the capital improvements fund over to the general fund.

He outright lied saying if the request passed, the garbage fee would disappear. Then they changed it to say it would be reduced. It recently had been increased and the "reduced" amount was still higher than it was before the initial increase.

Furthermore, stealing from the roads fund, AGAIN delayed city leaders being forced to address the issue of city employees having to either accept layoffs and/or pay cuts.

Now, this spring and summer, the city claims it doesn't have money to repair roads and many people are too stupid to even know why. Many of the same people that likely voted for the funds to be transferred in the first place.

They let a deadbeat sit in the Docks for a year without paying 100k rent to avoid the embarrassment of place sitting empty. Then they sold the docks to retire the bonds, so the taxpayers got nothing for their investment.

We are paying a few million each year for the next couple decades for some lofts, apartments, condos, downtown that were total idiocy to create at all.

The real beauty of it is, not only do we know who actually owns these buildings we are paying for, the city (we taxpayers) won't even own these buildings after the debt has been retired. Many of them have succumbed to low income housing units, for the original moronic idea of yuppies filling downtown proved to be a pipe dream.

Although the nation, and especially Toledo is deep into the worst ever housing crash, the same people are in favor of giving millions of dollars to "developers" with their hands to create yet more downtown apartments. Toledo doesn't need similar projects with the Fiberglass Tower and Berdan building. However, the same morons that approved previous similar deals are still making these decisions.

The Marina District has been sold and it's reported like it's some great story. While I personally commend the mayor for doing things regarding the sale differently than many wanted, Toledoans still lost millions. Of course, that isn't any fault of Mike Bell. However, many people in city government now, were around when many millions were poured down the drain to support past plans.

Raising taxes simultaneously cutting services isn't exactly what I call prudent management of our money. Bell gave much lip service last year during the budget mess. Ultimately, much of the resolution was via tax increases and service reductions, instead of attacking the real source of the deficit...labor costs.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 03, 2011 at 06:02:56 pm     #   2 people liked this

Don't worry Ryan, I predict within the next few years they will switch water/sewer to monthly billing. The "sticker shock" from citizens already is evident from reading this thread.

In a few more years, with 50% higher bills already "baked-in-the-cake" I'm confident they at least are smart enough to rearrange the chairs on the Titanic.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 03, 2011 at 06:06:25 pm     #  

Maybe Maggie or someone else here will know specifics, but didn't Herwat and Carruthers propose switching two city departments over to public utilities?

If so, the reasons why are obvious.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 03, 2011 at 06:17:35 pm     #  

Water is a precious resource...and we are paying a fine dollar for it.

ANDDDDDDDDDDDD our Govenor (Sir Jackass as I like to call him) just passed something for indusrtial businesses to draw more water from the great lakes to use in industry and pollute our fresh water supply....without paying fines.

Why is big business not paying and we the people are?

posted by OhioKimono on Aug 03, 2011 at 06:30:46 pm     #   1 person liked this

i'm pretty sure he actually turned that legislation down?

posted by upso on Aug 03, 2011 at 10:23:21 pm     #  

Did they? That could be the best political news I have heard in ages.

posted by OhioKimono on Aug 03, 2011 at 11:40:26 pm     #  

Don't forget that the water bill is actually water/sewage and trash. I believe everything went up and not as much as they originally wanted. Remember the big discussion about the entire water system being neglected and needing major work?

I guess my bill is coming and now I'm afraid to open it. I can't wait to get my "surprise".

posted by hockeyfan on Aug 03, 2011 at 11:44:36 pm     #  

OhioKimono:

http://www.recordpub.com/news/article/5066927

Not sure how you missed this, it's been on the news since it happened two weeks ago. Of course, it's easier just to have a knee-jerk reaction and assume something without doing any research.

posted by dell_diva on Aug 04, 2011 at 08:19:12 am     #  

Kimono, what hacked me off about the governor's bright idea is that it jeopardized an international agreement that has been hammered out over the past 6 years or so, among all the Great Lakes states plus Canada. It was an embarrassment to think that our regional partners in water quality had to hear that one new governor (plus the legislator/water company owner who proposed it) had apparently zero working knowledge of the issue.

posted by viola on Aug 04, 2011 at 06:05:20 pm     #  

Interesting article, funny no where in it does it say that the governor was the one who came up with the plan he vetoed.

posted by Linecrosser on Aug 04, 2011 at 07:41:55 pm     #  

Kasich must be bi-polar. Write legislation and veto it later. Interesting indeed.

posted by HickoryG on Aug 04, 2011 at 07:45:56 pm     #  

Now lets hope that fracking get shot down..oh, wait...

posted by OhioKimono on Aug 04, 2011 at 08:00:05 pm     #  

What about people with pools ?

posted by CharlesBronson on Aug 04, 2011 at 11:55:19 pm     #  

http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2011/10/19/Toledo-looks-at-monthly-water-rate-billing.html

As predicted, the monthly billing is starting next year. I guess the quarterly sticker shock would have been too much for many people in the coming years. Anyone that isn't a direct payment beneficiary of a particular department and votes for that 3/4% income tax renewal or any levy here is a complete idiot.

posted by 6th_Floor on Oct 19, 2011 at 11:28:39 pm     #  

This is just plain common sense. Many Ohio cities have billed monthly for water for years. Off the top of my head I can think of Portsmouth, Norwalk, Cincinnati and Columbus. It can be cost effective for the city. The city utility can act more quickly to shut off delinquent accounts. It also does give the water user some impetus to budget better. Water users tend not to fall as far behind when billed monthly. I don't see a problem here.

posted by holland on Oct 20, 2011 at 12:01:23 am     #  

I don't understand how Toledo gets away charging so much for water, unless it is because they are spending so much upgrading an outdated system. Do any of the suburbs there have their own water system at all or is everyone stuck living off Toledo?

I just took a peak at my bill for last month down here in the landlocked state with only man made lakes around here. $9.20 was the bill last month for water. Sewer was $17.86...but $6 of that is the system replacement fee the voters approved a couple years back. Trash on the bill was around $14 which is trash and recycling. So not sure how it all compares to the costs up there, but from what I'm seeing is that Toledo is stuck in a very high cost mode.

posted by JustaSooner on Oct 20, 2011 at 03:54:56 am     #  

"My bill...$125 - $150 for a family of 4. WTF."

My bill was $282.00 and change.Maybe that will make you feel better.Also,I do not have a pool other than one of those kiddie pools for the Grandkids.

posted by buckeye278 on Oct 20, 2011 at 08:41:05 am     #  

My bill was $328 for two retirees. We have an extensive lawn and garden irrigation system plus two ornamental ponds. This last quarter bill was actually down a little from same quarter last year. We also make use of the winter saver rates for sewer. The sewer portion is based on last February's consumption. I'm not complaining. I use a lot of water.

The city does stick it to the suburbs, where I live. We pay more per cf. I live in the Village of Holland. Our contract with the city at our current rate is up in eleven years. The sticker shock then promises to be pretty bad.

posted by holland on Oct 20, 2011 at 09:02:09 am     #  

Another water bill in...

$123 for a family of 4 - I dont have a lawn I water, but I do water my potted garden. That being said...Im sure glad that I bought my water saver shower head and low flow toilets. They clearly are saving me a small mint.

posted by OhioKimono on Oct 20, 2011 at 09:05:11 am     #  

Honestly, I'd rather get billed monthly. Easier to keep track of with my other utility bills.

posted by mom2 on Oct 20, 2011 at 09:35:24 am     #   1 person liked this

my recent bill came to $143 and there are only two of us living in the house. I have low flow shower and toilet, a dishwasher and only wash three loads of laundry a week. and I don't bother watering the lawn

posted by steve155 on Oct 20, 2011 at 10:59:16 am     #  

The COT water dept is a dumping ground for undesirable city union workers. Welch (from the Health Dept & most recently the guy who gutted the garbage-he just keeps moving up because he is useless) wants $700k to upgrade software to bill monthly. Blade article cites need for upgrade by Todd Moss (a consultant). AND Welch says he wants another increase next year. Going to monthly billing is a smokecreen. Who is getting the $700k to write this software? This has all been funded by the 'temp' 3/4%-vote it down, then vote for 2 & LET'S TAKE BACK SOME CONTROL.

posted by Private on Oct 20, 2011 at 08:05:42 pm     #  

I live in Toledo and just received my quarterly bill last week and it was twice as high as normal. i called in to find out what was going on and they said that last quarter the billing system put a hold on my bill and never sent it out. i asked why and they had no answer. Normally i would catch not receiving a bill but about a year and a half ago i signed up for the direct pay where they just take from my account so i did not pay much attention. After talking to the water rep for a few minutes she kindly told me that the billing system had actually not billed me for 2 of the last 5 quarters. So now i have a bill that 3 times the size it should be because their system made repeated errors.

I talked to one of the supervisors and asked why this had happened and she really had no answer. The only way i can prevent this from happening again is to make sure i actually receive a bill and then check my bank account and make sure they pull the correct amount.

posted by imacableguy on Oct 20, 2011 at 10:00:32 pm     #  

The low flow racquet is a joke. For many years we have been told to use low flow to prevent water waste. It sounds great but what happens when everyone uses them? It reduces the amount of water used which should reduces bills which means less revenue. What happens when the revenue is not where the political machine wants it? Yep higher rates for less production of good clean water.

posted by imacableguy on Oct 20, 2011 at 10:05:27 pm     #  

I live relatively conservatively, and even with cheaper nuclear energy, my water bill is reasonably higher than my electrical bill. I'm also a computer nerd with a decent amount of hardware going on. But I do tend to keep lights off and conserve when I can but I'm still amazed.

The bill itself amuses me. Back home when we get a bill (a lot cheaper than here) it's just a normal fee.. here I pay more for disposing of waste water than I do of actual water intake.

Then again in the grand scheme of things both bills are still reasonable considering other outside costs. But still every dime counts. Especially since we live near a huge fresh water supply.

posted by INeedCoffee on Oct 20, 2011 at 10:43:37 pm     #  

After talking to the water rep for a few minutes she kindly told me that the billing system had actually not billed me for 2 of the last 5 quarters. So now i have a bill that 3 times the size it should be because their system made repeated errors.

This is exactly why I'd rather be billed monthly - billing errors. (I've had odd things happen like that with my bill as well.)

Would much rather have the opportunity to catch a billing error within a month's time as opposed to waiting until the end of a quarter to see it. If there's a problem, I'd rather address it promptly.

posted by mom2 on Oct 21, 2011 at 09:30:40 am     #  

We live in an average home in Toledo: One bathroom, two people, two dogs, little in the way of outdoor watering. Our quarterly bill is just over $300.

I send them an automatic payment of $50 each payday, which is twice a month. Makes it easier for me to budget, plus I know it pisses them off :-) which is an added bonus.

posted by gamegrrl on Oct 21, 2011 at 10:15:44 am     #   1 person liked this

And now dig a little bit deeper into your wallets for water folks. Ah, I forgot...again. Water is something we should be happy to pay more for, right? Whatever Bell and his buddies need to ensure their pensions are padded is acceptable.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2013/03/22/Mayor-seeks-13-2-a-year-rate-increase.html

posted by 6th_Floor on Mar 22, 2013 at 09:20:07 am     #  

Jeez, is it legal to have a well dug on your property in Toledo?

posted by JeepMaker on Mar 22, 2013 at 09:28:05 am     #  

Jeepmaker, I floated that idea to my husband a few years ago and he said the water underlying our area is probably contaminated. I think he just didn't want to get into a whole new project :^). Maybe he'll change his mind in the years ahead.

posted by viola on Mar 22, 2013 at 09:36:10 am     #  

crazy that Bell would pull this during an election year

posted by upso on Mar 22, 2013 at 09:54:06 am     #  

That is a bit of a jump. The example they used was for 3,000 cubic feet per month which is currently $14.53 but would jump up to $24.93 per month. They mentioned that they are currently the lowest among peers in the region, which is good. However, are they going to be there after? Here in drought world USA, we work out to be $15.50 for the same amount of water per month - and our sources are primarily from a lake reservoir and well systems. Regardless though, if the lines are that old and upgrades need to be made - then there is very little that can be done about it I guess.

posted by JustaSooner on Mar 22, 2013 at 10:37:47 am     #  

The cynic in me can't help but wonder how much of the ever escalating water bills we pay is going to fund all of the "city-employees-who-should-have-been-fired-but-we-hide-them-in-the-water-department-instead."

posted by Foodie on Mar 22, 2013 at 10:58:37 am     #   3 people liked this

My partner and I's bill is always 120-130 ...we just paid our last bill which was around 144! How do we use more water in the winter vs the summer when we keep our yard green and wash cars weekly.

and they want to raise the bills. Pshhh!

posted by stooks on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:01:25 am     #   1 person liked this

stop whining...try living in the boonies where a well costs $5K+ and the water quality isn't near what you have in town

posted by justareviewer on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:17:34 am     #  

must be those 3 showers a day your both taking?

posted by Linecrosser on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:19:31 am     #  

"stop whining...try living in the boonies where a well costs $5K+ and the water quality isn't near what you have in town"

I'll always "whine" when my $$ is frittered away by big spending politicians.

posted by Foodie on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:39:24 am     #   2 people liked this

Personally I like the taste of well water over city water.

posted by deere1 on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:43:39 am     #  

must be those 3 showers a day your both taking?

Unfortunately, actual water usage has little--if anything--to do with your bill.

USA TODAY analysis: Nation's water costs rushing higher

U.S. homeowners who reduce their water consumption in an effort to save money can cut their costs. But they may end up raising the rates they're charged. Why? Because water suppliers collect less income as consumption drops, but ongoing costs -- such as bonding debt, salaries and chemicals -- either increase or, at best, remain stable.

A 2010 report by the Water Research Foundation, a non-profit organization that studies drinking water issues, concluded that residential usage per customer dropped more than 380 gallons annually in the last 30 years, a changing era when conservation became more prevalent. As a result, many water agencies have been forced to raise rates.

"When we explain that part of the reason you're paying more is because you're using less, that doesn't go over real well with a lot of people," says Joseph Clare, the Philadelphia Water Department's deputy commissioner for finance and administration.

-------------

They've got your ass no matter what. Use more. Use less. Who cares? Pay up.

posted by oldhometown on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:45:53 am     #  

I'm not whining. I am just stating the facts of our water bill.

posted by stooks on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:50:55 am     #  

In many areas of the old Washington and Adams township there are already wells. Everyone in Trilby when growing up used well water. The problem is not with the water quality it is with the septic systems.

If you find an old well on your property you can use it for lawn and garden use.

posted by jackie on Mar 22, 2013 at 12:18:22 pm     #  

JeepMaker, Jackie is saying that it's illegal to rely on a well for your residential water supply. Toledo (as well as other such large municipalities) has given itself a monopoly on potable water. So if you try to disconnect from the municipal supply, they have legal reason to go after you.

Stop voting for big-government, run-of-the-mill politicians. That's the only way to get our liberties back. I already warned Toledoans here on forums and personally, that the municipal government will tax you to death to keep up its gravy train. This is more of the same. Stop it before it kills you. Eventually, ongoing bills will kill you. They will sap your family wealth and leave you lacking for other First World benefits like, oh gee, health care in your old age.

posted by GuestZero on Mar 22, 2013 at 02:32:59 pm     #   1 person liked this

UPSO said: crazy that Bell would pull this during an election year

Aren't you diversity-addled Liberals going to proudly vote for the Black guy anyway? What does he to fear, then?

posted by GuestZero on Mar 22, 2013 at 02:37:38 pm     #   1 person liked this

6th floor.... do you work on 6th floor of government center?

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Mar 22, 2013 at 02:45:12 pm     #  

30 years back, some in the newer Sylvania housing additions sank points for lawn watering. You could spot who was doing it because it discolored their sidewalks.

posted by Trilby on Mar 22, 2013 at 02:50:42 pm     #  

Somebody, other than the bill payers, ought to be held accountable for allowing the water system and treatment plant to get in such a stage of need. Clearly there was a lack of routine maintenance here.

posted by max on Mar 22, 2013 at 02:57:08 pm     #   1 person liked this

Also would like to see before any increase, how much is outstanding. How much is owed in back payments to the water department and what steps are being taken to collect. I understand some of this is rental properties, but the water bill is suppose to be in the owners name. I don't want to support a system that will not collect and support rental property speculators. At what point should the water be turned off? I don't want to pay for people that will not.

posted by Nyse on Mar 22, 2013 at 03:42:22 pm     #  

At what point should the water be turned off?

Rarely and most likely only if the property is abandoned. The immediate outcry will be the heartless water department turning off a life necessity to poor, suffering renters. And that may be the case. In the meantime, the slumlord that owns the place walks around free.

Shit, it's the same drumbeat over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over....shady assholes buy properties and refuse the responsibility to pay the necessary property taxes and utility charges that accrue. After 180 days delinquency, why that isn't grounds for instant forfeiture and sherriff's auction of property to "good standing" bidders, I don't know (unless there is a legitimate tax or billing dispute proceeding through the courts).

posted by oldhometown on Mar 22, 2013 at 03:59:26 pm     #  

I have a point well for lawn irrigation, car washing etc., City water for potable. The point well goes dry every August. So, if I want green gardens and lawn, I have to crawl under the house, where the well pump is located and turn some valves. I don't think I've gotten back my original investment in the well and pump. I need a deeper well than the point well. The water is good though. It the City would allow it, which they wont, it is potable. We had it tested. No sulfur or rust either and a water softener would not be necessary. In drought summers, such as last summer, we never even tried the well.

I'm sure I'll be back under the house trying the well again. The City will raise suburb rates even higher than what City residents pay, as we cant vote any of those Yahoos out. Two things City council and the Lucas County Commissioners have kicked the can down the road until the infrastructure repair costs are untenable, are water treatment and the jail. Somebody ought to shut off their water and let them spend a couple of nights in jail.

posted by holland on Mar 22, 2013 at 04:08:10 pm     #   2 people liked this

We have 1 less person in our house, and yet our water bill is the same as if we had 4. We pay around $50 a month on our water bill. All in all, as the water bills climb higher I am even more happy that we installed water efficient plumbing fixtures.

posted by OhioKimono on Mar 22, 2013 at 04:50:23 pm     #  

Where are you The Blade, we need it published, all back water bills due and while you are at it, all property taxes that are owed. Real Estate was published before, why not now. To look it all up on Aeries is a long process, our local paper should take the lead. Before we are taxed more or have another increase in anything, we need to know how much is owed already.

posted by Nyse on Mar 22, 2013 at 04:50:26 pm     #  

"Real Estate was published before, why not now"

Because they don't do it for nuttin'! Not long ago, our dear Lucas County auditor decided to spend nearly $250K more of our tax $$ than was necessary to publish public info - TFP submitted the lower bid. You don't suppose that had anything to do with......naw, couldn't be. Nevermind.

posted by Foodie on Mar 22, 2013 at 05:02:24 pm     #  

I think by law it has to a "newspaper of general circulation". Not sure if the TFP meets that legal definition. Nothing against the TFP, just that I know there are legal issues involved that come from the State level. Can someone weigh in on this that knows more?

posted by holland on Mar 22, 2013 at 05:11:03 pm     #  

This came up recently in another thread and I believe TFP is actually considered a newspaper of general circulation due to the amount of copies they publish, and that they publish 8 issues a month.

posted by upso on Mar 22, 2013 at 05:17:30 pm     #  

Nyse, maybe the first shut-offs should be with Toledo councilman Tyrone Riley's homes.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2012/07/22/Overdue-bills-rise-as-water-rates-soar.html

posted by 6th_Floor on Mar 22, 2013 at 05:43:54 pm     #   1 person liked this

Thanks Holland.

http://hydrology1.nmsu.edu/hydrology/wellpoint.htm

I didn't know what those were. That explains the well tip that I had seen in some flea market recently. I didn't know there was a fruitful means of tapping water tables at 25 feet or less, done by one man.

posted by GuestZero on Mar 22, 2013 at 05:44:34 pm     #  

OK said: We pay around $50 a month on our water bill.

Well, you can see where they're digging with this. They want $60, then $70 per month out of you, by 2018.

I understand the reasons for having one, potable water source in a household, but people really need to start looking into greywater and downspout-cistern systems. As prices continue to rise like this, even that paltry 1.5 gal modern flush is starting to be too expensive.

posted by GuestZero on Mar 22, 2013 at 05:48:57 pm     #  

Holland said: Can someone weigh in on this that knows more?

Google knows: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/gp7.12

As used in the Revised Code, “newspaper” or “newspaper of general circulation,” except daily law journals in existence on or before July 1, 2011, and performing the functions described in section 2701.09 of the Revised Code for a period of three years immediately preceding any such legal publication required to be made, is a publication bearing a title or name that is regularly issued at least once a week , and that meets all of the following requirements:

(1) It is printed in the English language using standard printing methods, being not less than eight pages in the broadsheet format or sixteen pages in the tabloid format.

(2) It contains at least twenty-five per cent editorial content, which includes, but is not limited to, local news, political information, and local sports.

(3) It has been published continuously for at least three years immediately preceding legal publication by the state agency or political subdivision.

(4) The publication has the ability to add subscribers to its distribution list.

(5) The publication is circulated generally by United States mail or carrier delivery in the political subdivision responsible for legal publication or in the state, if legal publication is made by a state agency, by proof of the filing of a United States postal service “Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation” (PS form 3526) with the local postmaster, or by proof of an independent audit of the publication performed, within the twelve months immediately preceding legal publication.

OK, my eyes have crossed. Does the TFB qualify here or not? It doesn't seem to, by requirement #5. To my knowledge, the TFP isn't delivered by mail.

posted by GuestZero on Mar 22, 2013 at 06:09:57 pm     #  

http://www.toledofreepress.com/2013/02/15/pounds-note-to-municipalities

They have a ruling on that from the prosecutors office... looks like TFP is in fact considered a newspaper of general circulation.

posted by upso on Mar 22, 2013 at 06:26:48 pm     #  

Alright, I'm sick of this crap. Can somebody render this Blade link as something readable?

http://www.toledoblade.com/attachment/2013/03/21/Toledo-proposed-water-increases-2014-2018.xlsx

I try to simply d/l it, and it turns into a zipfile full of XML. It's supposedly "Toledo proposed water increases 2014-2018".

posted by GuestZero on Mar 22, 2013 at 06:38:53 pm     #  

here you go. I turned it into a pdf for you: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zw2nfzthfxbwy2e/Toledo-proposed-water-increases-2014-2018.pdf

posted by upso on Mar 22, 2013 at 06:42:51 pm     #  

Before we had new storm and sanitary sewers installed in the Village ( early '80's) the point well was sufficient. Now rain water is more efficiently directed away, plus no one has a functioning leach bed. So little water is left to percolate through the soil horizons. Hence, a significantly lower water table. We did one thing right when the sanitary sewers went through. We tiled all of our eave troughs back to the old septic tank. The County allowed us to keep, rather than crush, the tank. We did have to fill the tank 1/2 full of large stone. All of our rain water from the roof goes directly into the septic tank and out into the leach field, which is our back yard. The system has worked flawlessly for thirty years. Our old oaks in this sandy soil love it. The next guy to own this house will have a bit of a puzzle to figure it out if not informed in advance.

posted by holland on Mar 22, 2013 at 07:46:30 pm     #  

Thank you upso. One more reason to believe that the Blade is less than honorable. Uh hem - Paul Hem.

posted by holland on Mar 22, 2013 at 07:49:43 pm     #  

The file was actually an easily load able XLS file, but you need the right software to open it. :)

posted by upso on Mar 22, 2013 at 08:24:54 pm     #  

posted by justareviewer on Mar 22, 2013 at 08:45:57 pm     #  

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/01/smart-water-meters-fight-utilities/1884677/

I certainly hope the City of Toledo residents fight the battle against the smart meters. At least reserve the option to pay a small monthly fee to be able to opt out.

posted by holland on Mar 22, 2013 at 09:08:05 pm     #  

max posted at 02:57:08 PM on Mar 22, 2013:

Somebody, other than the bill payers, ought to be held accountable for allowing the water system and treatment plant to get in such a stage of need. Clearly there was a lack of routine maintenance here.

The taxpayers are exactly the ones to be held responsible - they are the ones who have repeatedly voted the same politicians in to office for years. The politicians are the ones who were responding to taxpayers who wanted more, more, more. Now we are going to pay, and pay BIG.

posted by MrsArcher on Mar 22, 2013 at 09:21:15 pm     #  

And here's an HTML version of the proposed water rate data:

http://toledotalk.com/cgi-bin/tt.pl/Toledo_Proposed_Water_Rate_Increases_2014-2018

posted by jr on Mar 22, 2013 at 09:42:08 pm     #   1 person liked this

You get what you vote for.

posted by Linecrosser on Mar 22, 2013 at 09:56:58 pm     #  

Recently compared water rates with a friend in Arizona.
Water is much cheaper in the desert than it is sitting next to a great lake. Of course, they only pay for water, not all of the things that we pay for that happens to come on the water bill.

posted by justread on Mar 23, 2013 at 06:18:33 am     #  

In fairness, water rates in Arizona are kept very low because of the generous tax payers of California, New York and New Jersey along with profits from municipal energy suppliers.

posted by SensorG on Mar 23, 2013 at 07:39:54 am     #   1 person liked this

There are a great deal of federal water projects out West as well.

posted by oldhometown on Mar 23, 2013 at 08:48:51 am     #  

SensorG posted at 07:39:54 AM on Mar 23, 2013:

In fairness, water rates in Arizona are kept very low because of the generous tax payers of California, New York and New Jersey along with profits from municipal energy suppliers.

Sure. And the federal.
We still found it ironic that the abundance of fresh water within easy reach didn't yield some relative benefit. I guess ours tastes better. Old pipes can't even ruin that lake erie goodness.

posted by justread on Mar 23, 2013 at 11:05:11 am     #  

I'm in Sylvania Township, and we have a point well, a septic tank and a leaching bed. The only problem we've ever had is when the power goes out - no pump, no water.

The city of Sylvania has been holding Township residents hostage to water for years. New developments go up, and as soon as the buyer applies for city water they are immediately annexed into the city. The Township Trustees John Jennewine, Kevin Haddad, Neal Mahoney and fiscal officer Dave Simko do little or nothing to oppose annexation. I'm not surprised, as they are elected by the city of Sylvania.

I know that many of the residents of the city of Sylvania have a well or point system which they use to water the lawn.

posted by madjack on Mar 23, 2013 at 11:35:05 am     #  

I heard Perrysburg and others who get their water from Toledo were getting quite pissed off at this stuff and were starting to talk with Ottawa and Wood County regional water authorities about tying into them instead.

Hmmmmmmmmmm.....

posted by anonymouscoward on Mar 23, 2013 at 11:43:11 am     #  

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1350&dat=19800211&id=dD1PAAAAIBAJ&sjid=jgIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7066,8336494

As for Sylvania, they've been griping for thirty years about the cost of Toledo water.

posted by holland on Mar 23, 2013 at 12:22:36 pm     #