There could be an end coming to rising water and sewer rates in Springboro.
Effective Jan. 1, the city plans to freeze rates that had been seeing annual cost of living increases, City Councilman Jim Chmiel said.
“This will help get our rates back in line,” Mayor John Agenbroad said during Thursday’s Springboro City Council meeting.
Springboro has some of the region’s most expensive water and sewer rates, according to the 2018 Oakwood regional study.
Customers paid an average of $303.92; $160.56 for water, $143.36, according to the study using a base consumption of 22,500 gallons (or 3,000 cubic feet) over three months.
Chmiel said the cost-of-living increase assessed in recent years would be not be charged next year.
“Unless something unforeseen happens, the existing rates will remain in effect and will not go up annually with a cost-of-living increase,” Chmiel said.
The council’s finance committee met before the council meeting.
According to a staff report for the meeting, water fund collection revenues were up 10.82 percent over budget at the end of June. This increase is in water collections
made through utility bill payments.
Water fund expenditures were 13 percent under budget, due mainly to a decrease in use of professional services and supplies.
Overall, the unencumbered water fund balance was more than $7. 5 million. Funds unencumbered are committed to an unpaid expense.
In addition, the report indicated sewer collection revenues were up about 7 percent through June, while expenses were more than 26 percent under budget, leaving a unencumbered fund balance of more than $7.6 million.
“We’ve been reviewing the water fund balance,” Chmiel said in a phone interview Friday. “We’re just about done paying off the sewer plant.”
Chmiel said the council would continue to review every two years.
Agenbroad said the decision reflected the city’s strong financial condition.
“It just shows you how solvent our city is financially,” he said. “We will continue to pass that onto the community.”