GREENVILLE — Greenville City Council on Tuesday unanimously accepted a committee report revising a plan to raise water and sewer rates.
On April 1, the city’s Utilities Committee met to discuss rate hikes for water and sewer service. The committee recommended percentage hikes to 20 percent in September 2021 and 10 percent in March 2022, for both water and sewer. Each subsequent year for three years would see 20-percent increases in September and 10 percent increases in March. Following this, rates for each utility would increase 5 percent yearly unless revised by council.
The committee also recommended a switchover from quarterly to monthly billing, beginning September 2021.
At its March 16 meeting, council unanimously voted down legislation which would have raised water rates by 50 percent in May 2021, and 18 percent in November 2021, as well as hikes of 25 and 10 percent for sewer rates, respectively.
Council President John Burkett said the legislation for the rate changes had not yet been prepared, but would be ready for council to hear the first meeting in May (May 4).
Greenville natural gas customers will likely see a small check in the mail sometime this summer, Greenville Mayor Steve Willman told council.
Residential customers participating in the natural gas aggregation program in Greenville, as well as the communities of Sidney, Bellefontaine, Russia, Ft. Loramie, Bradford, Ansonia, Covington, Newberry Township, West Milton, and Jeffersonville will see a refund check from Volunteer Energy at some point this summer. The refund is part of an agreement between AGE (Affordable Gas and Electric), the communities’ consultant for their governmental aggregation programs, and Volunteer Energy to refund an overcharge on the March 2021 natural gas bills.
According to a press release from AGE, Volunteer Energy was required to purchase gas that was “8,741-percent more expensive than its first of Month Posted Price.” The price spike in natural gas was a direct result of the polar vortex experienced by most of the nation from approximately Feb. 5 to 20, 2021. Advance notice of this pass-through charge for March bills was not provided to AGE.
Refunds will be sent via check to residents of record during the affected time period will commence this summer. For the average resident, the refund will likely be $8 or less, depending upon usage for the period.
In other business, council approved a CIP transfer of funds in the amount of $848,004, needed for the Salt Barn construction project ($795,000), and a taser purchase contract and purchase of a new police cruiser ($53,004).
Greenville City Council meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to view these meetings live on Zoom or the following day on the City of Greenville Ohio YouTube channel.