AURORA – Aurorans may face sewer and water rate hikes beginning in January.

A 4% sewer rate increase and a water capital fee increase of $5 per quarter were introduced at City Council’s Nov. 11 meeting and, if approved, would take effect Jan. 1.

City officials say the increases are necessary for upgrades of the water system and two wastewater treatment plants.

Service Director Harry Stark said several water lines must be replaced, and the city is looking to add a water tower or replace one or both of the two existing towers. Operational and EPA-imposed upgrades also are necessary.

As for the sanitary sewer system, a firm last year recommended significant and costly upgrades over the next 15 to 20 years.

"We plan to begin engineering promptly for the first priority regarding sludge treatment," Stark said.

Council raised both of the rates by similar amounts – 4 percent for sewer and $5 for water - earlier this year. Prior to that, the previous increases were in 2010 for sewer and 2012 for water. Stark said a consultant initially had recommended a much higher sewer rate increase to fund the city’s needs.

Officials said the current average quarterly water bill is $144.97, and that would rise to $149.97. The current average quarterly sewer bill is $95.22, and that would rise to $99.02. The total for both would increase from $240.19 to $248.99.

Even with the increases, officials say Aurora’s combined water and sewer rates would be lower than surrounding communities, such as Streetsboro, Twinsburg, Solon, Hudson, Reminderville and Mantua.

Contact the newspaper at 330-541-9433, or