PJ residents to see decrease in sewer rates


By Sheryl Roadcap - sroadcap@sidneydailynews.com



SIDNEY — An update on the sewer rates for Port Jefferson residents was discussed during Monday evening’s Sidney City Council workshop session.

Village residents will see a decrease in what they will be paying in 2019 compared to 2018.

William Blakely, Sidney utilities director, said the city has been providing sewer services for the village residents since 1998 when the city manager was authorized to enter into an agreement. The necessity for the agreement arose when the Ohio EPA told the village to stop the sewage that was going into the Great Miami River from on-lot septic systems.

In 2000, the city entered into a Wastewater Management Agreement and Wastewater Treatment Agreement with the village of Port Jefferson. These agreements, Blakely said, called for the village to construct a new collection system for sewer service for all customers within the village’s service area. The sewage would then be pumped to the city of Sidney’s sewer pump station on state Route 47 and then into the city’s wastewater treatment plant for treatment.

The agreement also called for the city to operate and maintain the village’s sewer system, pump station and perform the sewer billings on behalf of the village. The sewer rates charged to Port Jefferson are based on the city’s cost to operate and maintain the sewer system and perform the sewer billing plus a 50 percent outside corporation rate surcharge.

The city is required to adjust the annual charges by March 1 of each year.

The wastewater treatment rate for 2019, Blakely said, will be $2.02 per 100 cubic feet (Ccf) of sewage, which is a 12 percent decrease from 2018’s rate of $2.30 per Ccf of sewage. He said the village’s sewage flows increased in 2018 by .201 million gallons (MG) but due to a $156,973 decrease in operational costs, there was a net decrease in the treatment rate per Ccf.

The management rates, he said, will be $1.47/Ccf for 2019, which is a 2 percent increase from 2018’s rate of $1.42/Ccf.

Blakely said village residents will pay $3.47/Ccf in 2019, which is a decrease of 7 percent from $3.72/Ccf charged in 2018.

Sidney received, in 2018, $28,804 in revenue from the Port Jefferson sewer charges, Blakely said. This was an average of $14.73 per customer per month. Additional charges are set by Port Jefferson for debt repayment and reserve.

Also during Monday’s workshop session, Gary Clough, assistant city manager/public works director, led a discussion on an ordinance regarding Sidney’s right of way amendments.

When presenting the proposed changes, Clough told council, “It is necessary to comprehensively plan and manage access to structures and facilities within the rights of way to maximize its use, promote efficiency.”

Following are two of the major amendments he proposed:

• Revision of the compensation for occupancy in the right of way from a calculated amount yearly to a set amount of $1,000 per year for less than 10 miles of right of way occupancy, $4,000 per year for more than 10 miles but less than 20 miles of right of way occupancy, and $10,000 for occupancy of more than 20 miles of right of way.

This revision, Clough said, is consistent language with the neighboring communities of Piqua, Troy and Kettering.

• Addition of a new section that addresses the repair and maintenance of any pavement cuts on roads that have been newly resurfaced or microsurfaced for less than five years in order to help protect the investment Sidney makes into resurfacing and maintaining its roadway system.

Clough said the amendment would make utility companies that cut into Sidney’s fairly new roadways accountable and responsible for repairs.

Council member Darryl Thurber questioned how these changes would impact the average citizen. Clough said it would not affect citizens, even those whose property is undergoing city’s inflow and infiltration (I&I) repairs. He said property owners would not be responsible to repair the road in those areas if they turn it over to the city to be taken care of.

Mayor Mike Barhorst suggested for Clough to only list the public works director in the amendment’s language. Currently Clough is the assistant city manager and the public works director. When Clough retires, his positions will be split, so the ordinance will only need to refer to the public works director.

He was directed to prepare the ordinance to return for its first reading at the Feb. 11 regular council meeting.

In other business, City Manager Mark Cundiff said there will not be a Planning Commission meeting in February, as nothing is on the agenda. He also reviewed the next Zoning Board meeting’s agenda set for Tuesday, Feb. 19, and the prospective City Council Agenda items for the next 30 days.

By Sheryl Roadcap

sroadcap@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.