ELIDA — Elida Village Council met Tuesday night to discuss potential utility rate increases.
The increases are needed due to Environmental Protection Agency mandates.
Elida will have to build a new sewer plant at a cost of $6 million to $8 million to meet the EPA guidelines.
In 2015, the EPA mandated Elida look ahead to making improvements to the plant.
A 5% increase in water and sewer was passed then.
In 2018, Elida renewed its operating permit and was told by the EPA that they needed to do an ultraviolet light upgrade and look ahead to a larger project in 2023 or the village could be out of compliance and face large fines.
Village council is considering small increases in utility rates now, rather than wait three years and order a large increase.
“It’s a softer impact now than all at once,” said Darryl Nichols, Elida Village Council president. “We still don’t know what we’re going to do.”
Councilman Dan Kaseman would like to see things itemized to get a better idea of where the money would be spent.
“Why do we have to increase our current operating rate?” Kaseman asked.
Elida resident Sally Ulrich voiced concerns about the proposed increases, indicating her utility bill keeps going up every year.
“When is enough going to be enough for the village?” Ulrich asked. “I want the village to be transparent and tell us where these fees that they want to charge us are going to go. We don’t know. It’s just we were told there was going to be 5% for the inside the village and now tonight, it’s we heard it’s going to be 7.5% for outside the village. No one knows this until tonight.”
Elida resident Jon Stocker agrees council needs to be more transparent with the public on what they’re doing.
“The addition of surcharges on the bill gives the perception of an end-run around because all of a sudden this fee shows up and I didn’t vote for that,” Stocker said.
No decision was made Tuesday night on how the village of Elida will fund the improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.