Sewer rate changes under consideration

By ERIC SCHAADT
STAFF WRITER

NORTH BALTIMORE — In response to negative public reaction to recent sewer bill increases, North Baltimore Council will consider a new rate schedule.

Village Council on Tuesday was set to give a first reading to an ordinance lowering sewer rates, but decided to get more details before taking action.

In the spring, council hiked sewer rates, but many residents complained that their bills skyrocketed despite cutting back on water use.

Councilman Aaron Patterson wondered Tuesday if it would be feasible to adjust the commodity fee.

Residents are charged a minimum sewer bill, along with a commodity fee for customers who use more than 2,000 gallons of water each month.

Patterson asked for financial information to determine if the usage amount for that fee could be increased to 3,000 gallons each month, while still raising enough revenue to satisfy debt payments for the storm sewer/sanitary sewer separation project.

Council will discuss the rates at a special council session next Tuesday following its regular committee-of-the-whole meeting, which starts at 5:45 p.m.

“We really, really want to get this right,” Councilman Bill Cameron said.

Separately, council learned the North Baltimore Emergency Medical Service has received a grant to pay for training and equipment. The Ohio Department of Public Safety will give the emergency medical service $6,250.

In a related item, village representatives heard seven candidates are expected to be offered new paid positions as village emergency medical technicians.

The village uses volunteers, but is adding paid emergency medical technicians to help ensure enough are on staff to respond to ambulance runs.

Separately, council members expressed concern that village vehicles are not being treated properly.

The issue came up because council members heard that one village police cruiser backed into another cruiser recently.

“I have some major concerns how our equipment is being cared for,” Councilwoman Leslee Thompson said.

Separately, council updated the search for replacing village Administrator Kathy Healy, who will retire this summer after seven years in that post.

Four candidates have been interviewed, village officials said.

Schaadt: 419-427-8414
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