Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Safety Service Director announces water rate increase

The following letter from Safety Service Director Joe Geers appeared on the February 23 City Council meeting agenda:

February 18, 2010

Re: Water Rate Increase

Dear Madame President and Members of Council:

During the Finance Committee meeting on February 16, 2010, a report was given by the City Auditor to the Finance Committee. In this report, it was noted that the operation portion of the water budget will be in the red at the end of 2010 due to increases in labor costs, material costs, operational costs, health costs and equipment costs. In order to break even at the end of 2010, there will need to be a 10.50% increase in the water rate. This includes the rate increase that will be passed on by the City of Cincinnati. In 2009 it was estimated there should be a 14.79% increase, but the increase was 9.80%. So, it was stated that it could be spread out over two years, which it will be.

This letter is to serve as Council’s official notification of an increase in water rates for the City of Norwood. As per Norwood Codified Ordinances, Chapter 925, Water Charges, the Service Director is to notify Council in written form of every increase in water charges or assessments at least thirty (30) days prior to implementation of same. You are hereby notified that the water rates will increase 10.50% effective March 23, 2010. In 2008, the General Fund had to supplement the Water Fund in the amount of $316,000.00 which shouldn’t happen since the water system is a utility and should be self supporting. With that being said, it would have required a 14.79% increase to meet the budget deficit and keep a larger reserve for contingencies, but a 9.80% increase occurred.

The history of water rate increases from the City of Cincinnati has been:

2002 = 1.1%
2003 = 2.5%
2004 = 3%
2005 = 5%
2006 = 7.6%
2007 = 7%
2008 = 6%
2009 = 5.9%
2010 = 3% (estimated)

The 10.5% increase will add the following for a minimum bill for a three (3) month cycle for residential wage:

5/8” meter size: From $30.33 to $33.51 = $3.18 increase
¾” meter size: From $33.17 to $36.65 = $3.48 increase
1” meter size: From $57.31 to $63.32 = $6.01 increase

When you divide the quarter increase by three (3) months, that is equal to:

5/8” meter = $1.06 a month
¾” meter = $1.16 a month
1” meter = $2.00 a month

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Joseph C. Geers, Director
Public Service-Safety