Canal Winchester Village Council approved new legislation last week raising water and sewer rates.

Canal Winchester Village Council approved new legislation last week raising water and sewer rates.

The 6-0 vote made increases that have been discussed since December official. Councilwoman Marilyn Rush-Ekelberry was absent from the Feb. 15 meeting.

The new rates will go into effect in 30 days. Combined water and sewer costs for the average Canal Winchester resident will increase from $111 per billing cycle to $121 per billing cycle in 2014. There are six billing cycles per year.

According to information from the village, the average Canal Winchester household uses combined roughly 10,000 gallons annually of water, sewer and storm water.

The increase will also affect sewer rates in Lithopolis. According to the legislation, sewer fees for Lithopolis residents would increase from $3.05 to $3.82 per 1,000 gallons between 2010 and 2014.

Council members and Mayor Mike Ebert also made it clear they are not happy with a recent decision by the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) to reject Canal Winchester's request for financial assistance.

Canal Winchester had asked SWACO to give the community $825,000 to replace revenue the village expects to lose over the next three years because of changes in how the authority handles trash. The village had proposed that SWACO pay Canal Winchester $450,000 in 2010, $225,000 in 2011 and $150,000 in 2012.

Council and village staff members are preparing a response to a Feb. 8 letter from SWACO, notifying Canal Winchester that the payments would not be forthcoming.

"SWACO's decision really bothers me,"Councilman John Bender said. "I feel like we got messed around with."Mayor Mike Ebert agreed.

"Back in November, they (SWACO) asked us to keep quiet," he said. "Well, we played their game and we kept it quiet and we didn't say anything through the whole process and then this happened."

Waste Management Inc. operates a transfer station in Canal Winchester and the village earned money each year for the 180,000 tons of trash that was stored there temporarily before it was sent to the company's landfill in Perry County.

However, as part of SWACO's efforts to eliminate a $2-million budget shortage, all trash collected in Franklin County now is taken to the SWACO landfill near Grove City.

Village officials say Canal Winchester loses $15,000 a month in host agreement fees because less trash goes to the transfer station; tax revenues are reduced because of job cuts at Waste Management's call center there; and residents may have to pay more for trash pick-up.

SWACO executive director Ron Mills has said board members could not justify making the payments to Canal Winchester and raised questions about whether such a move would set a bad precedent for the authority.