Nick McWilliams reporting – Moving into next year, the Tuscarawas County Metropolitan Water and Sewer District is proposing a three percent increase to rates in the county.

Proposals for next year moving forward will be based off a third-party study on rates conducted after funding is obtained through grant programs.

Director Michael Jones proposed to Tuscarawas County commissioners on Wednesday a plan that would span multiple years.

“Right now, we are looking at a three-percent [increase] for next year. The plan for me at least, when I come back in next year, we’ll have this independent rate study to rely on in terms of what our proposals are. And what I would like to propose to the board for next year, is basically, we have a five-year plan.”

According to Jones, projections for sewer rates in the state for 2021 put the average cost just above $800 per year, with Tuscarawas County residents slated to pay $662 under the three-percent increase, well below the median rate.

As for water, residents would pay slightly above the state average, with a three-percent increase coming in at around $759, as has been the case the last few years, due to an operation deficiency in 2014 and substantial rate increase.

Under the new proposal, a fee of $250 for a reconnection after a disconnection has been eliminated.

Jones adds that all changes match inflation increases for material, supply, equipment and contract service costs.

The full update is expected to be posted on the district’s website.

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