CADIZ - Doug Crabtree, representing the county engineer's office, recommended to the Harrison County board of commissioners Wednesday that the board approve increasing water and sewer rates for several of the county systems where the county purchases water from the village of Cadiz.
Crabtree told commissioners that the last rate increase was in 2007.
"The village of Cadiz increased their rate 79 cents per 1,000 gallons, and because we operate on minimal funds, we must make this increase and regretfully must pass it onto the consumer," Crabtree told the board. "The other slight increase in water and meter rates will also allow us to cover the cost of meters which need to be replaced."
The Unionvale, East Cadiz, Dennison Avenue and East Market systems will increase from the current $25 plus $5 per 1,000 gallons rate to $35 and $6 per thousand gallons for the three-quarter inch residential customers.
Customers still on the county supplied systems in Germano and Piedmont will not see rate increases remaining at the $25 and $5 per thousand rate while Tippecanoe customers will also see their $35 rate remain at the 2007 prices.
"We did not make the increases across the board because we have our own water in these systems and we tried to keep the cost increases as minimal as possible."
The Unionvale system has seen the largest increase in growth from 82 customers in 2007 to 146 in 2012; East Cadiz increased from 42 to 56; Dennison Avenue added just one home moving from 8 to 9; and on East Market, the rate increase effects just 2 customers.
The tap fees for the three-quarter inch service will remain at $1000, one inch and 2 inch service will pay an additional meter fee. The base rate for one inch meters will increase from $25 to $35 plus $6 per 100 gallons and the two inch meter rate will also jump $10 from $5 to $55 in all of the village supplied systems, with the exception of Dennison Avenue where the rates will add $7.50 plus $4 per 100 gallons for the one inch and two inch commercial customers.
Crabtree said the replacement cost of a meter is about $160 for the county and meters are read once a month and customers are billed monthly.
The board unanimously approved the increase citing that the county can not continue to operate under a loss.
Harrison County Treasurer Vicki Sefsick announced that in compliance with a recommendation from the State Auditor, her office will no longer be cashing pay checks for county employees.
"The next pay will be the final time our office will be cashing paychecks for county employees," Sefsick said.
Commissioner Don Bethel asked how much cash the Treasurer was required to have on hand to provide the service. "Even after direct deposit, we needed to have $17,000 for cashing," Sefsick replied.
"That is a lot of money to have in the office," stated Bethel, "I feel this is long overdue."
In other business: The board also approved an agreement 10-12 paying Eugene Hilligas $100 per month for five parking spaces to be used by the Prosecutors office.
County Recorder Tracy Boyer told commissioners that her office will add hours on Friday evening and Saturday to accommodate an oil company she is currently negotiating with.
Boyer stated that persons wishing to apply for the temporary part-time positions should send their resume to the Recorders office.
Commissioner Barbara Pincola stated that the commissioners issued a memo regarding Ohio House Bill 66. The bill, which took effect May 4, requires the Auditor of State to maintain a system for the reporting of fraud, including the misuse of public money by any public official or office. The system allows individuals to make anonymous complaints through a toll-free telephone number, the Auditor of State's website, or through the United States mail. The Auditor's office is required to keep a log of all complaints filed.
Pincola also stated that estimates from two local contractors will be solicited for the upstairs restroom renovations.
Palmer may be reached at mpalmer at timesleaderonline.com