Wauseon City Council on Monday approved the first readings of ordinances to increase water and sewer rates.
The first was an ordinance modifying the rate schedule for sewer rates for the City of Wauseon. Ordinance 2022-4 proposes an 11% increase in sewer rates effective Sept. 1, 2022, a 9% increase for 2023, and a 7.5% increase for 2024.
The first reading passed 4-1 with Councilman Scott Stiriz, voting no.
The ordinance modifying the rate schedule for water rates proposes an 5% increase in water rates effective Sept. 1, 2022, 5% increase for 2023, and a 4% increase for 2024. It has passed 4-1 with one vote against from Stiriz.
It was stated that the increases are needed to ensure the water fund remains solvent.
Also at the meeting, Director of Finance Jamie Giguere, provided an update on the Brunell Street water line project, reporting that the final connection will be complete this Tuesday. No other department heads were present to provide reports.
Councilman Stiriz provided an update from the Tree Commission meeting that was held July 11. The Tree Commission discussed the Annual Tree City USA event that Wauseon will be hosting in 2023, but no date has been set and no actions were taken during the meeting.
Councilman Brandon Tijerina provided an update from the Utility Committee meeting that was held July 13. Tijerina reported that a representative from ARS, the city’s current trash service provider, attended the meeting to discuss pros and cons for different collection options that the city may choose for future services.
Wauseon’s current contract with ARS is ending and the committee has about 6 weeks to decide how they wish to move forward with ARS. ARS prices are set to increase, but ARS would not provide a quote to the Utility Committee during the meeting.
Currently the city utilizes a tag system for individual trash bags for pickup and residents can rent Mighty Tidy trash bins for their trash bags. Tijerina explained to the council that ARS provided options for a future contract including the current tag system, having all residents use the Mighty Tidy bins, or a multi-tier bin system where residents can choose the bin size that best fits their needs.
Councilman Shane Chamberlin inquired about the possibility of curbside recycling services being added to the next contract.
There are currently seven locations in Wauseon for residents to purchase tags for their trash bags. Council members discussed that new residents in town may not know where those locations are.
Mayor Kathy Huner reported that there is a new phone system in the works for residents to call in to obtain direction on where to pay your water bill or purchase bag tags and other city related information.
Huner requested that emergency legislation be drafted to obtain bids for garbage and recycling collection options.
Council also passed, on emergency, a resolution that authorizes the Director of Finance to establish a new fund for depositing and administration of funds from certain OneOhio Opioid settlements.
Reach Rachael Krisher at [email protected]