Cleveland City Council passes water rate hike

Fees go from $7 to $18 in July

CLEVELAND - During a meeting on Monday, the Cleveland City Council approved a water rate increase to help pay to repair the water system's aging infrastructure.

The measure passed by a vote of 10 to 8, with one abstention. According to the city of Cleveland, the quarterly fee for water for the Cleveland Division of Water will increase from $7 to $18, stating July 1. The fees will increase by $3 each year, starting in 2013.

The average Cleveland water customer would see an increase over four years from $46.48 to $84.30 in 2015. Cleveland Division of Water customers living in the farthest zones will have their quarterly bills go from $88.33 to $133.17. These numbers are based on a customer using 16,000 gallons of water.

The city said the rate hike will bring in $220 million over the course of the next five years. The money is needed to pay for repairs, pay off bonds and because of a decrease in water consumption, the city said in a news release on Monday.

Consultants for the Cleveland Mayor's Office reported that if the rates were not increased, the future of the Cleveland Division of Water as a city asset would be severely threatened.

The rate hike affects 1.2 million residents in three dozen Northeast Ohio communities.

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