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Higher water rates proposed in BG PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 11:13
Water rates, sale of additional water to the Northwest Water and Sewer District and establishment of a water and wastewater rate for private non-profit residential developments occupied Bowling Green's Board of Public Utilities Monday.
Next month the BPU will consider a three-year plan for water rates based on a cost of service study presented Monday.
John Courtney, of Courtney and Associates, said data reviewed for the study indicates a need for a 12 percent increase in water revenue by 2016.
"We are recommending fixed dollar amounts, not a compounded rate. All of the increase would be for usage. There are no changes in the monthly service fee or the demand charge," Courtney said.
To reach the projected needed revenue Courtney recommended an annual hike of 7.9 cents per hundred cubic feet of water used by all classes of customers in the city. The increase would be 13.6 cents per hundred cubic feet of water for customers outside the city.
Wholesale customers without storage already pay 75 percent more for water and those with storage pay 65 percent more for water. Examples of wholesale customers are the villages of Weston and Grand Rapids and the Northwestern Water and Sewer District.
Courtney said the study proposes an average city residential bill of $10.52 a month in 2014, $10.99 a month in 2015 and $11.46 a month in 2016. The 2013 average is $10.05, which includes a service charge of $1.30 and 600 cubic feet of water.
Comparative monthly residential rates in Findlay are $19.15; Perrysburg, $35.31; Fremont, $39.48; and Napoleon, $39.57, Courtney said.
By law the city's water and sewer system receives one-third of the first 1.5 percent of the city income tax. Much of that revenue is used to finance infrastructure projects such as replacement of lines and upgrades of plants.
Director of Utilities Brian O'Connell asked BPU members to study the proposal and be prepared for further discussions in May.
The board also:
•    Agreed to sell the Northwestern Water and Sewer District an additional 100,000 gallons of water per day to help solve water issues in the villages of Bloomdale and Bairdstown. The district approached the city several months ago because Bloomdale's well field is no longer able to produce enough raw water.
The district plans to extend a 12-inch line from Elmwood school to the village and a pumping station to provide adequate pressure.
Bill Barber, district engineer, told the BPU that Bloomdale had four choices for water, BG, North Baltimore, Fostoria and Findlay. "They wanted Bowling Green's water because it was the best tasting," Barber said.
• Approved a plan that treats residents of private non profit residential developments as individual customers rather than requiring the association to pay a demand charge. O'Connell said the plan will save residents of Ashberry Hills about $15,000 a year. There are 151 units, meaning a savings of about $12 a month per household.

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