Middletown’s sanitary sewer rate has been raised and adjusted as needed in the past few years as the city builds up its funding to cover various federally-mandated projects in the 25-year, $265 million Long Term Control Plan.
The plan is part of a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to address combined sewer overflow control projects along with the major rehabilitation of sewer system and water reclamation plant.
The city is requesting a 5% user rate increase for 2021 for the sewer fund, which is down from the 10% rate increase approved for 2020, according to Scott Tadych, public works and utilities director.
This rate increase will cost a typical residential user an additional $1.51 per month based on 600 cubic feet of usage, he said.
Tadych said in 2021, the city is budgeting for $8.31 million in LTCP projects including ongoing sewer rehabilitation and water reclamation plant upgrades. In addition, starting preliminary design of the Downtown Storage Basin project required to be completed by 2026 with an overall estimated future cost $40 million.
Middletown’s sewer rates are currently 55th out of 63 communities surveyed for sewer rates based on the 2020 Oakwood Water and Sewer Rate Survey for southwest Ohio. Middletown’s water rates are currently 15th out of 66 communities surveyed for lowest water rates. Combining both rates Middletown is 41st out of 63 communities surveyed.
Residents will see a $1 increase per month in 2021. The current fee is $15.50 per residential unit per month which would go up to $16.50 per residential unit per month for trash collection, recycling and other services.
This increase would generate a total of $216,000 a year would satisfy the solid waste funds financial projections for next two years and avoid fund deficits. The city is in a second year of a three-year contract with Rumpke.