Water, sewer rates to rise 4 percent

By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com

Prepare to pay a little more each month on your Wellington water and sewer bills.

Pending a final vote by village council, rates are set to jump by four percent. The change will likely go into effect in April.

Mayor Hans Schneider said that the average household using 7,500 gallons of water each billing cycle will see a $2 increase for water and another $2 increase for sewer service.

While inflation may play a factor, the big impetus behind the rate bumps is debt.

The village has built two new water towers in the past two years and significantly upgraded its sewage treatment plant. Those project cost big money, and there’s a utility-based fund set aside to pay off related loans.

“That fund was starting to get a little low and we wanted to start making sure it would continue to be OK. We didn’t want to get any lower than where we’re at,” Schneider said.

Utility rate increases were recommended by village committees back in 2014. Bills did rise slightly, but the mayor — who at the time was a council member — recalls deciding to hold off as long as possible on the four-percent jump.

“Council didn’t want to chew this all off at once,” he said. “It is an increase and no one wants to see that, but hopefully residents will see the cost is only going up $4 per month on average, and they’ll feel that’s fair.”

Wellington’s rates, even with the impending increases, will be comparable to other towns in the county, he said.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk