FREMONT, OH (Toledo News Now) - Water rates in Fremont will likely be increasing at the first of next year.
Water is part of the business at Top of the Hill barbershop in Fremont. Owner Mark Walter said increased water rates will affect him at the barbershop and at his Fremont home.
"We gotta cut back on the little stuff, watch it at the house and make sure you pay the bills on time. It's gone up about 20 bucks a month right now," said Walter.
Fremont's water bills are currently divided into three parts: a fixed rate, a $6 fee to pay for the reservoir and a commodity fee to pay for the actual water usage.
Under the city's proposed rate hike, residents would pay ten percent more in their commodity fee.
Businesses would pay six percent more for their fixed fee, 50 percent more for their loan repayment fee, and six percent more for their water usage fee.
"Can't please everybody. Nobody is probably pleased at all, but this is, I think the fairer way to do it," said Fremont mayor Jim Ellis.
The city of Fremont is looking to raise water rates to pay for a loan it took out to finish the reservoir project.
"Definitely don't want to do it- but we had to get an additional 5.5 million dollars loan to complete the reservoir and this is to repay the loan over the next 20 years," said Ellis.
Mayor Ellis said the reservoir should be complete in about a month. The project has been a major headache with several work stoppages and pending lawsuits. If those rulings go against the city's favor, Ellis said residents may pay even more in fees.
"Our water rates, even being increased, are already on the high end of the state. But, our median income in Fremont is 20 percent less than the state average and so, it's not real comfort to our residents to have to pay higher rates," said Ellis.
Ellis said the city is explaining the proposal to businesses and will send a letter out to residents with November's bill.
Only the city's interim safety service director has to agree to a rate hike.
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