Franklin County Commissioners vote Tuesday on raising rates for sewer and water customers.
The increases amount to a 3% hike on bills for water and sewer services delivered by the county. Stephen Renner, who leads sanitary engineering, says that increase mirrors one passed by Columbus leaders.
“Anywhere between 55-60% of our cost are to pay the city of Columbus for water and sewer service, so we have to at least meet the same rate increase that they do,” Renner says.
Renner explains they have to match those increases because the county is also working to fund maintenance on aging infrastructure. Those needs could have pushed the county rates even higher.
Renner says an outside research firm suggested double digit rate increases.
“My bosses, the commissioners of Franklin County, recognized that that is just not a doable thing for our customers in Franklin County,” Renner says. “So we by policy have been adopting at least the rate increases that the city of Columbus passes.”
Meanwhile, Renner says talks are continuing between the city and the county for Columbus to take over parts of the Franklin County system. He says they hope to come to an agreement sometime next year.