Township board feels bite of new sewer costs

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, February 6, 2007

By By MICHAEL C. GUILMETTE JR. / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Although they passed a hike in sewer costs, Niles Charter Township officials want to examine the increased fees imposed by the City of Niles to make sure the jump represents actual costs.
On Jan. 22, the City of Niles approved a $11.9 million sewer upgrade project that called for a 12 percent rate increase for customers effective Feb. 1. The township uses the city's water treatment plant, making them a city customer, and the rate increase bite was felt during the meeting when township clerk Marge Durm-Hiatt announced sewer costs from the city were $81,997.03.
"I think it is the duty of the Department of Public Works committee to go back and ensure … that the rates that are passed on to Niles Township truly reflect the real costs of operations and capital recovery, but nothing else outside of that," Jim Ringler, township treasurer, said Monday evening.
Township Supervisor Bill Myers said the township has been advised to raise sewer rates from $17 per month to $19 per month for each unit of usage, and the board voted to accept the increase from the city and raise the rates accordingly.
Board member Kevin Tonkin said the option of the township building its own sewer treatment plant has been examined, but the cost of building the plant would not be cost effective.
Also at the meeting, Ringler said the township hall would remain open until 8 p.m. on Feb. 14 to give taxpayers three extra hours to pay their taxes by the deadline.