Wednesday, August 02, 2000

Commissioners blast 2-tier water rate plan

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Warren County commissioners have asked Morrow to turn off any plans to charge those outside town more for water than they charge residents.

        “It isn't fair to (Salem Township residents) — they can't vote for you guys, but you can raise their rates,” Commissioner Larry Crisenbery said Tuesday.

        Morrow has been talking about the possibility of a two-tier rate system to help build a reserve for an expected $3 million in water sys tem improvements in the next 10 years, Councilman Fred Carmack said.

        The village now charges $3 per 1,000 gallons of water for all users.

        The commissioners summoned Morrow officials to their meeting because part of the village water system was turned over from the county in 1979. The county says that deal stipulated nonresidents couldn't be charged more than residents.

        A draft of the contract and a county resolution support the county's contention. The problem is, neither group has been able to find the actual contract.

        “I know what happened in this thing, whether there's a contract or not,” Commissioner Mike Kilburn said.

        Salem Township Trustee Donnie Williams spoke on behalf of township residents.

        “I just think it's the wrong thing to raise some people more than others,” Mr. Williams said. “I think it's a tactic to get the people in Roachester (just east of Morrow) to annex.”

        Morrow's council hasn't discussed that angle, Mr. Carmack said, but “it wouldn't be a bad idea.”


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