In June of 2018, the city council of Cincinnati voted to pass an ordinance that would raise water rates, effectively, by 18%. In August of that year, the City and County went to court to battle it out in hopes to achieve an outcome that would work for all involved. After what seems like forever, it was finally announced, yesterday, that an agreement had been reached that is considered to be a 'win-win' for all. Though you won't see rates increase they will continue to have the multiplier for those outside of the City.
If you were not aware, Township residents pay a 1.25% multiplier for city water to cover the cost of "bringing" water to their areas. This means that water bills can be up to 25% higher than those of city residents. Had it been approved, the proposed increase of June 2018 would have caused that multiplier to jump to 1.43%. While the rate increase would have technically only affected those that live in one of Hamilton County's twelve townships, these are areas where we have family, own businesses, or patron businesses, that would have had to find ways to account for a jump in rates, had it been approved.
So for now, or at least for the next 50 years, rates are set to stay the same as before. It is also said that the 50 year agreement would "...allow Greater Cincinnati Water works to financially stabilize their budgets..." as they would be able to rely on satisfied customers who are happy with their rates to create budget plans and growth opportunities. Other parts of the settlement included an agreement to allocate $63 million dollars from the Metropolitan Sewer District to fund its portion of the hillside erosion project on Riverside Drive.
While this is good news, it creates several opportunities for questions to be asked and answered. Over the next few days, I plan to take a deeper look into rate increase/decrease measures, as well as, touch on the people's choice to vote yes on aggregation ballot measures. We will delve into what that means for your bank account, how you can stay safe from predatory aggregate companies, and how to decide if you are making the best decision for your home.
I would love to hear about your experience thus far; Have you seen your rates jump over the last few years? Have you had a good/ bad experience with aggregation companies? Share your story below in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org