It's official: Reynoldsburg residents will pay 6 percent more for water and 4 percent more for sewer service in 2013.
Reynoldsburg City Council approved the higher rates after hearing a third and final reading of the ordinance establishing them at its Dec. 10 meeting.
City Auditor Richard Harris said the rate hikes are necessary because Columbus raised its water rates and Reynoldsburg purchases water from Columbus. He said the increases are actually "considerably lower" than in past years.
Last year's water rate increase was 9.5 percent; the increase for 2011 was 9 percent; and the increase for 2010 was 10.5 percent, according to a chart provided by Water Superintendent Mike Root.
Water rates will increase from the 2012 charge of $6.12 per 1,000 gallons to $6.49 per 1,000 gallons, effective Jan. 1.
Root said Columbus water rates went up 4 percent, but the additional 2 percent increase in Reynoldsburg rates is necessary to offset the city's water capacity fee income and to pay for replacing old water lines.
Sewer rates will rise from $6.51 per 1,000 gallons to $6.78 per 1,000 gallons.
According to a water and sewer rate comparison chart given to council members, Reynoldsburg's new water rates will be lower than those in Gahanna, Hilliard, Upper Arlington, Dublin and Bexley, but higher than rates in Columbus and Grove City.
In other business Dec. 10, council members approved an emergency ordinance for a special exception use permit for Andre Bryant, who wants to open Buckeye Fried Chicken in the building that was once a Dairy Queen at 6563 E. Livingston Ave.
Bryant founded Buckeye Fried Chicken, which operated in Columbus for seven years. He also operated Burger Boys and Buckeye Fried Chicken in Whitehall. He said he has been in the restaurant business for 28 years.
Service Committee Chairman Barth Cotner said the Reynoldsburg Board of Zoning and Building Appeals told Bryant lighting issues had to be fixed around the building, a Dumpster relocated and bushes planted at various intervals to improve landscaping around the restaurant.
Council members went behind closed doors at the end of the meeting to interview applicants for the seat left vacant when Nathan Burd accepted the position of city service director.
Applicants expected to be interviewed during the executive session are residents Norman Brusk and Ryan Brzezinski, who currently is a Reynoldsburg school board member.
Other applicants expected to be interviewed during a special meeting Dec. 11, after ThisWeek's press deadline, are former Mayor Robert L. McPherson and residents Monica DeBrock and Marshall Spalding.