2020 Rate Schedule
December 26, 2019
The Tuscarawas County Metropolitan Sewer District (“District”) is responsible for both the County’s Sewer District and Water District. The Sewer District and Water District are comprised of many Sub-Districts located throughout Tuscarawas County. The Sewer District and the Water District are each distinct and separate enterprises operating under the authority of the Board of Commissioners, Tuscarawas County, Ohio (“Board”) in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Sections 6103 and 6117. The District operates under the supervision of the Sanitary Engineer, who is appointed by the Board.
User charges collected from monthly rates, tap-in fees, permit fees, penalty fees and other miscellaneous charges are intended to be the sole source of revenue used to fund the operation and maintenance of the County’s water and sewer facilities. As resolved by the Board, the Sanitary Engineer is required to conduct a rate study as part of the annual budget preparation.
It is essential to regularly evaluate water and sewer rates to determine the needed revenue to account for normal inflationary increases for equipment, utilities, materials and contract services, increases in wages, benefits, health insurance; increases in fees from regulatory agencies and increasing mandatory staffing requirements.
Also critical in ensuring long-term quality of service and regulatory compliance, it is important to generate adequate revenue to fund system reserves and a portion of the system depreciation. Funding water and sewer facility depreciation is important so that the District has the financial stability needed to properly fund the planning, design and construction of future capital improvements, such as system rehabilitation/replacement or expansion of facilities, as needed.
In order to fully fund the anticipated 2020 expenditures, as well properly funding the District’s reserves, we are proposing an adjustment to the County’s sewer rates. The adjustments are included on the attached “Proposed Rate Adjustments” and will modify the average monthly residential rate from $39.00 to $41.27.
According to the most recently published Ohio EPA Rate Survey, sewer rates across Ohio have increased an average of 4.05% for the past 20 years. We expect the median annual sewer rate in Ohio to be $762 (based on 7,756 gallons of usage per month) in 2020. By comparison, the District’s proposed sewer rate for 2020 will be $643 per year.
In order to fully fund the anticipated 2020 water system expenditures and the needed contributions to the Water District reserve funds, it is anticipated that the existing rate structure will provide the needed revenue to meet these requirements. The average annual cost of water will remain $737 per year in comparison to the projected annual statewide average of $722 per year in 2020.
We are also proposing a modest increase to the Water and Sewer Connection fees. These increases are to account for normal inflationary increases in equipment, materials, supplies and contract services.