2010-12-04 / News

Harbor Hills gets break on water rates; no sewer hike

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON – Harbor Hills residents will see significant savings on their water bills beginning Jan. 16, 2011.

Licking County Water and Wastewater Director Kevin Eby said the new residential rate will be a $25 minimum for up to the first 2,000 gallons per month and $1.01 for every 100 gallons over the minimum. The commercial rate will be a $40.20 minimum for up to the first 2,000 gallons per month and $2.01 for every 100 gallons past the minimum.

“The justification for a decrease was due to the county’s updated bulk water rate from Hebron and careful budgeting,” said Eby.

Hebron has been supplying bulk water to Licking County since 1991 via a contract expiring at the end of this year. That contract provided that the county pay 1.5 times the in-village rate. Recently, Hebron’s rates have been increasing at a faster pace due to the costs of doubling the treatment plant's capacity just as consumption unexpectantly declined. Higher costs and lower volumes forced Hebron to increase rates.

The county negotiated a bulk rate decrease from $9.45 per 1,000 gallons to $5.26 per 1,000 gallons. Eby said the rate reduction happened as a result of Buckeye Lake offering Licking County bulk water shortly after Buckeye Lake installed a public water distribution system. Buckeye Lake offered to undercut Hebron by nearly half, forcing Hebron to match Buckeye Lake’s price or lose Licking County’s business.

“The Village of Buckeye Lake’s new water system gave the county another possible option in obtaining bulk water to supply the Harbor Hills system,” said Eby.

“So far, it hasn’t affected our residents,” said Hebron Administrative Assistant Linda Nicodemus. She said Licking County’s reduced rate has not forced the village to charge village customers more to make up for the loss. “None of the residents are taking the hit for that,” said Nicodemus. Currently, Hebron residents pay $6.30 per 1,000 gallons with no minimum charge. An annual increase will raise that rate to $6.45 per 1,000 gallons next year.

Nicodemus said some of the industries downsizing or leaving were replaced, such as State Industrial Products moving into the former Ecolab building in 2009, which help to make up for some of the lost Licking County revenue.

Eby said Licking County’s rate is 83 percent of Hebron Village’s rate. The county is currently paying $5.26 per 1,000 gallons, but that will increase to $5.35 per 1,000 gallons as of February 2011 to reflect Hebron’s rate increase.

Eby said Buckeye Lake sewer rates won’t increase in 2011. They will remain at $46 per month per Equivalent Dwelling Unit.

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