NEW PHILADELPHIA Dover, Oh

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Tuscarawas County, Ohio (WJER) - The Tuscarawas County Commissioners are considering some service rate hikes based on a recommendation from the director of the county’s metropolitan sewer district.

During his annual update to the board, Tuscarawas County Metropolitan Sewer District Director Mike Jones spoke about the need to bump up water and sewer rates to keep pace with rising expenses and EPA  requirements.

He suggested the commissioners raise the sewer rate by 2 percent and the water rates by 2.5 percent to compensate for projected inflation over the next 10 years.

“We do continually need to look at adjustments to keep pace. Our costs rise every year, and we need to be able to keep pace with that to make sure that we’re providing the services that we are required to provide, to make sure that we’re meeting environmental requirements and sure that we’re ensuring safe quality water,” he says. 

Jones says the increases would also bring the county’s rates up to par with other sewer districts in the state.

“We are on the lower side, well below the median average sewer rate, and we’re just below the median water rate. We feel like we’re being equitable in the way that we charge for our services,” he says. 

Jones says customers would see an 80-cent increase in their sewer bill on average and a dollar increase on their water bill beginning in January if the commissioners approve the recommendation. 

“The sewer, we typically raise those every year anywhere from 1 to 2 percent for the past few years. The water, we’ve been able to avoid an increase for I think the last two years. We’re still in pretty good shape there but we don’t want to get too far behind from a financial standpoint,” he says. 

Jones says the district provides water services to roughly 2,500 people and sewer services to about 3,500.

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