The Avon Lake Municipal Utilities (ALMU) Board of Directors approved a two-year water rate increase in December that will see a 4 percent increase starting July 1, 2013, and another 4 percent increase on July 1, 2014.
The Board approved the rate increase at their December board meeting.
“The increase will allow us to continue to provide high quality water to our customers, while responding to increased costs,” Todd Danielson, Chief Utilities Executive, said.
He said the average Avon Lake customer will pay about a penny per day more with the 4 percent rate increase each of the next two years.
“Rather than holding rates steady for long periods of time and then significantly increasing rates, ALMU intends to increase rates in smaller increments annually,” Danielson said. “This allows us to take into account any cost savings as we realize them. For example, we recently signed an energy curtailment agreement that will save our customers approximately $600,000 during the next three years and we are working to identify less expensive water plant residuals management alternatives. Management of these residuals currently costs over $900,000 per year.”
Avon Lake customers will remain among the lowest-paying in Ohio. The most recent Ohio EPA rate survey stated that Avon Lake residents have the second lowest annual water bill in the state.
The plant provides high-quality water to more than 180,000 people in a 600-square-mile, five-county area.
Danielson said that outside the City of Avon Lake, ALMU sells water to jurisdictions, not individual customers.
“The jurisdictions will decide whether they will be increasing rates to their own customers,” Danielson said.
In 2011, customers’ rates increased 13 percent.
When sewer and water increases, totaling more than 31 percent, Danielson said they were necessary to improve the department's infrastructure and help pay for more than $42 million in Ohio EPA-mandated work, which will separate sewer and water flow and upgrade the water treatment plant.
Those increases resulted in a 3.6 percent hike for Avon’s customers.