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Local News

Five Percent Water Rate Hike in Cincinnati Likely

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WVXU
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When Cincinnati Council approves the city budget next week, it most likely will include a five percent water rate increase.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works Director Tony Parrott the five percent increase is the bare minimum amount needed to keep up the system.

“The bottom line is our assets are old; we need to replace them,’’ Parrott told council’s Budget and Finance Committee Monday. “The only funding that we have available for us is obviously through the rate revenue from the system.”

Parrott says decreasing usage is a problem too.

 “We are actually using less on an average day with 240,000 service branches compared to 180,000 service branches that we had in 1968,’’ Parrott said.

Parrott said water works will likely seek a six percent increase in 2017.  Last year the agency asked for a seven percent rate hike, but Council only approved a four percent increase.

The city will likely seek a six percent rate increase in 2017.  Water works must maintain a certain level of funding to meet requirements for bonds issued to pay for construction projects.

Parrott compared the proposed Cincinnati rate to other large U-S cities. The water rate here is comparable to Louisville and lower than Columbus and Cleveland, Parrott said.

A five percent rate hike, he said, would put Cincinnati below the average median in comparison to the 50 largest cities.