HUBER HEIGHTS — The Huber Heights City Council approved a water rate increase at Monday night’s council meeting.
City Manager Rob Schommer explained the increase was made necessary by the city’s water softening project, which was approved by voters.
“This rate increase is required in order to fulfill the financial obligations to complete and begin the design and construction phase for the water softening project,” Schommer said. “The water rate would be increased based on an incremental set of percentages over the next seven years.”
The rate increase will take place over the next seven years, with 15% raises the first two years raising the rates for an average water bill from $28.07 in 2018 to $37.13 in 2020.
In response to a question from Councilman Glenn Otto, Schommer explained that the ordinance passed Monday included the increases for 2019 and 2020 with annual adjustments for the remainder of the seven-year period.
“It’s for calendar years 2019 and 2020 providing annual adjustments to the rates thereafter,” Schommer said. “The annual adjustments were identified as potential CPI (Consumer Price Index) type of rate increases that would follow along a sustainability plan if needed and necessary.”
A chart provided by the city shows yearly increases in the 2.4% range for the final five years.
Council had discussed the increase in depth in recent work sessions and meetings so there was little discussion on the issue Monday night. Council approved the increase 5-2 with Janell Smith and Ed Lyons voting no.
Also on Monday night, city council:
- Passed onto second reading an ordinance that amends the city code to create more stringent rules for how and where unsolicited printed material can be delivered in the city.
- Approved an ordinance to use public domain to acquire 17.6 acres of land off Rip Rap Road for use as a city well field at a cost of $82,000. The vote was 6-1 with Smith voting no.
- Appointed Rhonda Sumlin to the Arts and Beautification Commission for a term expiring June 30, 2020.
- Approved a new liquor permit for the Walnut Ridge Wedding and Event Center at 4250 Fishburg Road.
- Tabled a resolution that would have approved an initial design for improvements to the State Route 4/State Route 235/New Carlisle Road intersection. Schommer requested that council hold off on moving ahead while more information is gathered that may result in a better long-term plan for the area.
- Heard from Toni Webb about upcoming events in Huber Heights. The Parks and Recreation Department Paint in the Park event will be held Sept. 19 at Shullgate Park. Registration is available on-line at www.barstoolsandbrushstrokes.com Plans also are being made for the city’s blanket project, which last year provided 250 blankets for various city organizations. The event has a tentative date of Dec. 2.
- In response to a question by VFW representative James Mitchell, Mayor Jeff Gore said the proclamation proclaiming Huber Heights a Purple Heart City will take place on Sept. 24 at city hall.
- Schommer answered questions from Smith about the responsibility for dead trees on private property. Schommer said the city can become involved if the tree is a threat to a right-of-way, otherwise the tree is the responsibility of the homeowner. Schommer also replied to a question from Smith about replacement of some speed limit signs that have been removed across the city, particularly on Trowbridge Lane. Schommer said the city has stepped up enforcement in that area and is prepared to replace some of the signs in areas where there have been complaints. The issue is scheduled to be discussed again at council’s next work session.
Councilman Mark Campbell was absent from Monday’s meeting. Council’s next meeting will be Sept. 24, 7 p.m. at city hall.
Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.