Archbold water rate increases to fund project

By David J. Coehrs -

The Village of Archbold passed the first reading Monday of proposed annual 3% water and wastewater rate increases, and will begin accepting bids for a new water tower.

The water and wastewater rate increases would fund a two-phase wastewater project that would increase wastewater flow from an expanding Con Agra plant and tackle a list of improvements at the village’s aging wastewater treatment plant.

The proposed water rate ordinance, which requires passage of three readings, would raise the cost from $3.75 to $3.86 per 1,000 gallons for the first million gallons used; from $3.18 to $3.28 per 1,000 gallons for the next 10 million gallons used; and from $2.93 to $3.02 per 1,000 gallons for use of over 11 million gallons. The minimum monthly water charge of $13.58 would raise to $13.98.

Proposed wastewater rates include increases of: from $22.29 to $22.96 per 1,000 gallons – the minimum monthly charge; from $4.36 to $4.49 per 1,000 gallons for the next 50,000 gallons; from $3.28 to $3.38 per 1,000 gallons for the next 249,000 gallons; $2.12 would remain the cost per 1,000 gallons for the next 700,000 gallons; and from $1.52 to $1.57 per 1,000 gallons for over 1 million gallons.

The increases would be enacted June 1, 2021, after the village’s current water rates expire.

The increased revenue would eventually contribute 20% of the cost to Phase 1 of a village water project – a $1.5 million wastewater line being installed at Con Agra Brands, 901 Stryker St. The phase includes constructing a new aeration tank and adding 20 feet of length to three existing aeration tanks.

Phase Two updates components of the village’s wastewater plant, which dates to the 1960s. Improvements include the addition of ultraviolet disinfection; the replacement of an existing fixed cover anaerobic digester and the renovation of other areas of the plant’s digesters; and the addition of permanent effluent pumping and improvement of the effluent metering arrangement.

The village will initially finance the project phases through a $4 million loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority.

“This is just to keep up with inflation and to help pay off debts,” Village Administrator Donna Dettling said of the proposed ordinance. “We’ve got a lot of improvements going on in both water and wastewater, and we’re just trying to stay ahead of what we need to take care of it. There are increased costs, no question about it.”

Archbold Mayor Brad Grime said the village typically prefers to keep annual water rate increases at 3%. He said the proposed increase for 2021 will help keep the village in line with the project costs.

“We just don’t want to get behind…We just want to keep ourselves flush and have the cash flow to prepare,” Grime said. “We need to keep revenue coming in. We have some aggressive projects coming up.”

He said, despite the annual increases, Archbold has some of the best water rates in northwest Ohio.

The village also plans to accept bids for construction of a new village water tower, estimated at $1.5 million. The separate project is scheduled to begin early next year.

By David J. Coehrs

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.