Discussion of water, sewer rates continue

CRIDERSVILLE — As village councilors and administrators continue their discussion on a possible increase of utility rates, they knew one thing is for sure — they want to inform the residents of the village and let their voices be heard.

Cridersville Village Council members set a public meeting for residents who pay water and sewer bills in the village of Cridersville to continue talks of potentially increasing these utilities. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. on May 13 at the Cridersville Fire Department, in conjunction with the regular monthly council meeting.

During Monday’s council meeting, councilors decided on the joint informational-council meeting date Monday when Village Administrator Jarid Kohlrieser brought some figures to councilors to consider.

After conducting a survey of area villages and cities, Kohlreiser reported several area villages have annual increases on their utility bill, as Anna and New Knoxville have a 3 percent annual increase and Jackson Center has a 5 percent annual increase.

“The numbers we looked at were the residential area and not looking at the rental properties, trailer courts and apartments,” Kohlrieser said of previous numbers that were calculated last month. “Some of the figures changed.”

Configuring 1,087 total users per unit, Kohlrieser noted that if $2.50 was added each month for one year on both water and sewage, totaling a $5 increase each month for 12 months, that would take care of what the village has lost in those two funds. It also would provide additional money to put in the funds to put toward projects this year.

Kohlrieser said this increase is something that could possibly take effect later this year, and then after the increase has been implemented for one year, then the issue could be re-evaluated. At that point, councilors could determine if an annual percentage increase should be added, similar to those added by area villages.

“Before increasing it annually, we could wait a full year to see what the accounts do, and to be good stewards,” Kohlrieser said. “Then we could address it then to see if a 3 percent increase is needed at that time.”

This is an option that was discussed by councilors on Monday, and at the public meeting next month on this topic will allow for more discussion between village officials and residents.

Once a decision on the rates is made, Cridersville Village Solicitor Angela Elliot can write an ordinance, and this will be read in three readings for three consecutive months at village of Cridersville regular monthly meetings.

“Unfortunately, we find ourselves in this situation,” Councilor Stacey Cook said of potential of increasing the utilities. “We need to look toward the future, and if we aren’t bringing in enough, this is something we have to do.”