Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Lebanon mulls raising utilities




By Cindi Andrews candrews@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Residents and businesses could see their water and sewer rates rise by a third next year if City Council follows a consultant's recommendations.

        The rate increases are needed to put department operations in the black and pay for needed repairs and expansion, according to a rate study by Hamilton-based Finkbeiner, Pettis & Strout Inc.

        “The rate increase, even if it were to be enacted, still puts us below most of our surrounding communities,” Service Director Scott Brun ka said Monday.

        The average household's monthly water rate for 5,000 gallons would go from $11.58 to $15.40, compared with an average of about $17.50 in nearby communities, according to the Finkbeiner study. Monthly sewer rates would go from $14.60 to $19.42, compared with an average regional rate of about $21.50.

        The study also recommends smaller — mostly 3 percent — annual water and sewer rate increases beyond 2003, and doubling water and sewer tap-in fees by 2008.

        Council's utility committee will discuss the report at 7 p.m. Thursday in the City Building, 50 S. Broadway.

        The rate study arose from an earlier Finkbeiner study of water and sewer needs. That report identified $33.5 million in recommended repairs, upgrades and expansions through 2010.

        The study calls for new water hookup fees rising from $2,400 now to $3,000 next year and topping out at $4,800 in 2008.

        Sewer hookup rates would go from $1,440 now to $2,200 next year and $2,880 in 2007.

       



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