Hilliard Northwest News

Timberbrook residents

Water rates could increase again

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Residents of Norwich Township's Timberbrook subdivision off Spindler Road could see another increase in their water rates in the second half of next year.

Norwich Township Administrator Kate Cavanaugh told the trustees Nov. 5 that Aqua Ohio, provider of water service to Timberbook, is applying to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for an average rate increase of 11.6 percent.

Cavanaugh said a Timberbrook customer using 4,000 gallons of water a month would see an increase of $7.31 per month, or about 24 cents a day, per an Oct. 24 letter Aqua Ohio sent to Norwich Fiscal Officer Jamie Miles.

Aqua Ohio has 280 water connections in Timberbrook. An average customer using 4,000 gallons of water a month currently pays $45.24 a month for service.

Aqua Ohio also provides water service to 1,400 connections in the Lake Darby subdivision, south of Interstate 70, in Columbus.

Using the same 4,000-gallon baseline, a customer currently pays $49.52 a month and will see an increase of $3.03 per month in that subdivision.

Neither subdivision receives sewer service from Aqua Ohio.

Customers within a given service area might experience slightly less or greater than the 11.6 percent average, said Jeff LaRue, external affairs coordinator for Aqua Ohio.

This policy is to bring all service area under an identical rate structure, as some companies Aqua Ohio has acquired, such as Ohio American Water that provided to Timberbrook until last year, had different rates, LaRue said.

Based on the waiting period for the PUCO to consider the application, "Aqua Ohio anticipates new rates for water service will become effective in the second half of 2014," the letter said.

Timberbrook residents' rates increased in 2012 after the PUCO approved a rate increase requested by Ohio American Water, which Aqua Ohio had purchased.

At that time, Greg Odell, area manager for the central Ohio region of Aqua Ohio, told trustees the average customer's monthly bill would increase by $4.65.