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In 2018, Montgomery County Environmental Services will initiate an approximate 14% combined rate increase for residential water and sewer bills in Montgomery County, Ohio. This rate increase will impact customers here in Miami Township.
Currently, an average Montgomery County residential customer pays about $170 each quarter for their water and sewer service. The rate increase will add about $24 to that quarterly bill in 2018. The new rates will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018. Customers on Auto Pay should make sure to check their first quarter bills in 2018 and anticipate increased water and sewer charges. The 2018 rate increase will vary based on meter size, so customers with larger meters will see a larger increase. After 2018, however, the rate increase will be a flat percentage increase and will not vary based on meter size. Montgomery County’s large water and sewer system is worth approximately $3.1 billion, and requires regular repair and replacement to maintain. The County plans to spend $750 million over the next 20 years to replace and repair the aging system. After the 14% increase in 2018, there will be four years of 5.6% rate increases.
Rate Calculator and Online Resources
The County will have a water and sewer rate calculator available on their website at http://www.mcohio.org/departments/water_services/rate_calculator.cfm where customers can input their information and find out what their new rates will be in 2018.
To use the rate calculator, you will need a copy of your recent bill to determine your water usage. You will also need to know your meter size. If you are a residential customer, your meter is mostly likely a 5/8” meter. If you own a larger home, irrigation system, or business, your meter may be larger. You can contact Montgomery County Environmental Services at 937-781-2688 to determine the size of your water meter.
For specific questions about the increase, please refer to the Montgomery County Environmental Services website at http://www.mcohio.org/departments/water_services/water_and_sewer_rates/current_rates.php
Aging Infrastructure and Below Average Past Rate Increases
Aging infrastructure is the driving force behind the rate increase. For example, the County spends more than $2 million every year to repair main breaks, and that number has been steadily increasing as the entire system ages. Montgomery County also delayed passing necessary rate increases during and after the Great Recession to help struggling businesses and families. The County did not pass any rate increases for four years (2010-2013), and then passed increases of 4% (2014), 3.1% (2015), and 3% (2016), with no increase in 2017. As a result, Montgomery County rate increases have averaged about 2.5% since 2007, which is below the state average of 4% and national average of 6%.
Rate Cost Comparison
When compared to other local jurisdictions and similar metropolitan areas, Montgomery County water and sewer rates are competitively priced, and will continue to be after the rate increase. See the chart below for a more detailed cost comparison.