MIDDLEPORT — The Middleport Village Council discussed the proposed water rate increase at their meeting Monday evening.
The council heard from a third party consultant with the Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP). The presentation of the rate study was given by Wayne Cannon.
According to Cannon, in a typical year, based on the past five years, the expenses of the Middleport water department should be around $359,758. The revenue for a typical year should be around $356,969.
As mentioned in earlier reports, there has been no increase since 2013 for the minimum water rate of $18.83 for the first 2,000 gallons. Cannon said a three percent annual increase should have been happening for at least the last five years.
Several repairs have not been made for many years. The council, along with Cannon, calculated that valves need exercised, or tested, the pipes needed directional flushing to be cleaned, and the flow and pressure needed more monitoring. According to the Village Administrator Joe Woodall, some of the valves have not been turned for at least 20 years.
In order to pay for those maintenance repairs, Cannon recommends that the rate for the first 2,000 gallons would be increased immediately to $24.90, which is a 20 percent increase. In the following years, the rate would increase 12 percent in 2020, five percent in 2021, and then back to the original recommendation of three percent. By 2023, the recommended rate would be $32.37.
“There’s nothing more important to our village than its water supply,” councilman Brian Conde said.
Cannon also pointed at that in 2017, there were over 15 million gallons of water unaccounted for. This could be due to leaks, but he said the water needs to be monitored more closely.
The council agreed to look at the data more before making what they called a difficult decision.
In other business, the council appointed Jeremy Fisher as the new Magistrate to replace Linda Warner. The contracts for area police departments and sheriff’s offices were renewed for prisoner housing in the Middleport Jail.
The next Middleport Village Council meeting will be Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.
Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.