PJ residents to see decrease in sewer rates

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

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

Village residents will see a decrease in what they will be paying in 2021 compared to 2020. The overall rate, which includes treatment and management charges, is down 4.9% for 2021 at $4.29 per 100 cubic feet (Ccf) of sewage compared to the $4.50 Ccf rate charged in 2020.

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% outside corporation rate surcharge.

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

The wastewater treatment rate for 2021, Blakely said, will be $2.58 Ccf of sewage, which is a 6% increase from 2020’s rate of $2.43 per Ccf of sewage.

The biggest reason for the increase, Blakely said, is due to the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) phase II debt service of $182,431 was added this year and total sewer flows declined by 63,857 Ccf. COVID-19 economic turn down and Honda shut down was the major reason for the flow reduction.

The management rates will decrease by 16.9%, he said, to $1.72/Ccf for 2021. This rate is down from the 2020 rate of $2.07/Ccf.

“There was $11,800 less maintenance expenses this year over last, that resulted in the 16.9% reduction of cost per Ccf,” Blakely said “Last year we had a large dollar telemetry system upgrade.”

Village residents will pay $4.29/Ccf in 2021, which is an decrease from the $4.50/Ccf charged in 2020.

Sidney received, in 2020, $44,689 in revenue from the Port Jefferson sewer charges, Blakely said. This was an average of $22.17 per customer per month. Additional charges are set by Port Jefferson for debt repayment and reserve.

In other business, Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth reviewed the upcoming Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings that are set for Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. City Manager Mark Cundiff also reviewed the prospective City Council Agenda items for the next 30 days.

Several council members and City Manager Mark Cundiff praised city crews for their good work in clearing city streets of snow overnight.

Council member Steven Klinger was absent Monday night and was excused by council.

In final business, City Council held an executive session to consider pending or imminent court action. A special City Council meeting was also held immediately prior to the workshop meeting to consider the employment of a public employee. Council members did not take action when they came out of the session at both meetings.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.