Westerville News & Public Opinion

Water, sewer, trash rates will increase next year


Westerville residents will pay more for water, sewer and solid-waste collection next year.

Westerville City Council approved an increase in rates for the three utilities Nov. 13.

The average water customer using 700 cubic feet of water per month will see an increase of $1.51 per month, from $16.59 to $18.10 per month, a 9.1-percent increase.

Water rates will increase to $5.20 from $4.90 per 100 cubic feet for customers using less than 200 cubic feet per month; to $2.58 from $2.37 per 100 cubic feet for the next 1,300 cubic feet; to $1.90 from $1.73 per 100 cubic feet for the next 8,500 cubic feet; and to $1.19 from $1.07 per 100 cubic feet for usage of more than 10,000 cubic feet per month.

Even with the increase, city leaders pointed out that Westerville water rates still would be well below water rates in surrounding municipalities.

In Columbus, which offers the next lowest rates, the average water customer pays about $25 per month.

"Westerville will remain the most economical water service provider, quality water service provider, in central Ohio," said city finance director Lee Ann Shortland.

Sanitary sewer rates will increase by 2 percent, meaning the sanitary sewer bill for the average residential customer will rise by 85 cents per month, Shortland said.

Rates are being increased to $8.66 per 100 cubic feet from $8.49 per 100 cubic feet for the first 200 cubic feet of usage, and to $5.25 per 100 cubic feet from $5.15 per 100 cubic feet for usage of more than 200 cubic feet per month.

The increase is due to an increase of 1 percent by the city of Columbus, which provides service to Westerville, and because last year's increase was not sufficient to cover operating costs.

"Last year, we kind of shorted ourselves on the pass through, so we're kind of making up for that," said City Council Chairman Mike Heyeck.

Solid waste collection rates will rise 25 cents per month, said Shortland, to $18 per month from $17.75.

The city is instituting the increase to offset surcharges by the state and service provider Rumpke of $1.02 per resident per month.

The city will continue to absorb some of that cost, and the rate increase will allow it to do so while keeping the solid waste account solvent, Shortland said.