Saturday, September 14, 2002

Mason reviews sewer bills after complaints of charges

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

        MASON — City Council members want more information before they make any move to change the way residents of Mason are charged for sewer service.

        Currently, the sewer rate is based on the water usage for a property. But with the dry summer and high number of residents watering their lawns and landscaping, the rates have raised concerns about residents paying sewer charges for water that isn't sent to the water treatment plant.

        Councilman Tom Grossmann suggested changing the rate structure so that the summer sewer rates were more in line with what a resident pays for sewer rates in the winter, an estimate he feels is closer to the actual sewer usage.

        Some residents told Mr. Grossmann they paid as much as $1,000 this summer.

        Councilman Dick Staten agreed the bills seem high, but was concerned about water capacity issues in the system as well as the overall impact on the revenue the system currently receives being affected by the rate change. He wants to be sure the county can meet its water needs, keep up with growth and pay its sewer bills, including the bonds on the construction of the system.

        “I agree with you the rate structure is wrong, but I don't think we should blindly change it without looking at the overall impact,” Mr. Staten said.

        After nearly an hour of discussion at this week's meeting, including input from two residents who had concerns about their high rates, the council referred the situation to the utilities commission and asked for arrangements to be made for a representative from Cincinnati Water Works to provide information about capacity.


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