PJ residents to see increase in sewer rates

By Sheryl Roadcap - sroadcap@sidneydailynews.com

+9SIDNEY — 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 increase in what they will be paying in 2020 compared to 2019.

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 2020, Blakely said, will be $2.43 per 100 cubic feet (Ccf) of sewage, which is a 20.3 percent increase from 2019’s rate of $2.02 per Ccf of sewage. The biggest reason for the increase, Blakely said, is due to the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) phase II capital outlay and other WWTP capital maintenance costs increases of 17.7 percent. The city of Sidney’s phase II debt service will begin in 2021.

He said the village’s sewage flows increased in 2019 by 2,875 Ccf for the year, or .11 percent. The city’s total flow dropped 22 percent, which Blakely suspects may be due to improvements from the inflow and infiltration (I&I) program in Sidney.

The management rates, he said, will be $2.07/Ccf for 2020, which is a 42.8 percent increase from 2019’s rate of $1.45/Ccf. The reason for the increased maintenance costs, Blakely said, is mostly due to a one-time installation of a new pump station telemetry at Port Jefferson and state Route 47, and a new 6-inch sewer meter at Port Jefferson. It will be a $19,000 increase.

Blakely said village residents will pay $4.50/Ccf in 2020, which is an increase from $3.47/Ccf charged in 2019.

Sidney received, in 2019, $36,848 in revenue from the Port Jefferson sewer charges, Blakely said. This was an average of $18.06 per customer per month. Additional charges are set by Port Jefferson for debt repayment and reserve.

In other business, Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth shared there will be one case to be considered at each of the upcoming Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings that are set for Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. City Manager Mark Cundiff also reviewed the prospective City Council Agenda items for the next 30 days.

Mayor Mike Barhorst reminded all that tickets are still available for the upcoming Shelby County Bicentennial Ball. The event will signify the conclusion of Shelby County’s bicentennial celebration and the beginning of the city of Sidney’s 200th birthday celebration. The ball is set for Feb. 22, 2019, from 8 p.m. to midnight inside the Shelby County Courthouse. Tickets may be obtained online through the Shelby County Bicentennial Ball Facebook event or in-person at the Sidney Alive office, 109 S. Ohio Ave., Sidney. He encouraged people to come and “dance the night away.”

Cundiff reminded the public city offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17, in observation of President’s Day. Trash pickup will not be delayed.

In final business, City Council held an executive session to consider pending or imminent court action. Council members did not take action when they came out of the session.

By Sheryl Roadcap


Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.