Effective Jan. 1, Bexley residents will be charged higher water and sewer rates.

Effective Jan. 1, Bexley residents will be charged higher water and sewer rates.

City council members voted unanimously to approve increasing city water and sewer rates at their Nov. 16 meeting.

The increase for water rates in 2011 will be 7.5 percent and the sewer rate increase will be 6 percent.

Service director Bill Harvey said Bexley residents currently pay $43.42 per 1,000 cubic feet for water and the sewer charge is $58.20 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Harvey told council members the primary reason for the increase was to pass along an an increase the city is being charged by the city of Columbus.

Harvey also noted that Bexley is looking at additional future expense to meet Ohio EPA requirements and to fund the replacement of water meters. He said the cost of the water meter replacement project alone could be in the $600,000 to $800,000 range.

City council member Richard Sharp, chairman of the water and sewer committee, suggested a quarterly fee be charged to cover the cost of those projects, with the cost of each to be itemized on water bills so residents will know what they are paying for.

After discussion, that idea was referred back to committee so more accurate cost estimates can be determined before deciding on how the project will be funded.