MUNROE FALLS — These next two weeks will be busy for City Council as they put a water rate increase proposal under the microscope.

Council’s General Government Services Committee will review and discuss the water rate hike legislation at its next meeting on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in city hall, 43 Munroe Falls Ave.

A special public meeting will then take place June 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kimpton Middle School, 380 North River Road.

Mayor James Armstrong said he will have Ohio Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and GPD Group officials attend the June 18 gathering to explain why the increases are needed. GPD is the city’s engineer and has given the city a list of recommended water projects that they feel need to be completed in the next five years.

In its report to Council, RCAP said the rate increase was needed so the city can set aside money for performance monitoring (such as leak detection), preventative and predictive maintenance, capital improvement projects and emergency escrow. Based on recommendations from GPD Group, Armstrong emphasized that certain capital needs for the water distribution system must be addressed soon. Some of the work that needs to be done are improvements to the water booster station, as well as to the two water towers.

A look at the proposed rate increase

The current minimum monthly charge for residential customers is $11.46 for residents using 2,000 gallons or less, $11.66 per month for apartment customers using 2,000 gallons or less, and $23.24 a month for commercial customers using 4,000 gallons or less.

Under the legislation examined May 1, the city is looking to set the minimum monthly charge for one- and two-family residences and individually metered water to apartments or condominiums at $20 for an allowance of 2,000 gallons and another $9.35 per each additional 1,000 gallons "or any part thereof," the ordinance stated. For apartment complexes, three or more family residences and condominiums with mastered meter service, the city is proposing to set the minimum monthly charge at $20 per unit or apartment for allowance of 2,000 gallons for each unit or apartment and $9.35 per each additional 1,000 gallons "or any part thereof per unit or apartment," the ordinance stated.

With the amended proposal, those charges would take effect Oct. 1, and be in effect through Dec. 31, 2019. The amended legislation is then proposing to increase the minimum monthly charge for each category of customer to $20.25 in 2020, $22.25 in 2021, $23.25 in 2022 and $23.50 in 2023.

For customers using more than 2,000 gallons in a month, the usage rate charged for each additional 1,000 gallons "or any part thereof" will go up to $9.65 in 2020, $11.40 in 2021, $12.25 in 2022, and $12.75 in 2023.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.