Utility rate increases to go before Weirton Council – The Steubenville Herald-Star

Mar 7, 2022
WEIRTON — City Council is set to take its first vote Monday on proposed water and sewer rate increases aimed at assisting with the costs of improvement projects for Weirton’s utility systems.
“This was discussed in the workshop with utilities,” Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh, referring to a meeting between Weirton Council, the Weirton Sanitary Board and Weirton Area Water Board on Feb. 22.
Council will meet at 7 p.m., Monday, in the council chambers of the Weirton Municipal Building.
According to a copy of the proposed ordinances provided during the Feb. 22 meeting, the sewer rates would increase from their current $4.19 per 1,000 gallons to $6 per 1,000 for the first phase. That would result in a minimum rate increase from $15.60 to $22 based on a 2,000 gallon per month usage.
Water rates would increase from a rate of $7.02 per 1,000 gallons to $7.75 per 1,000, or a minimum of $15.01 to $17.
The first increase for the sewer rates currently are scheduled to go into effect May 26, if the ordinance is passed, with the water rates in effect Aug. 31.
The ordinances must be approved by two readings from council, and a public hearing also will be scheduled.
In related action, council will be asked to consider two resolutions allocating funds from the city’s American Rescue Plan allocation to support to wastewater treatment plant project.
The first resolution is to reallocate previously allocated ARP funds. Last year, council agreed to set aside $1 million for the water treatment plant upgrades and $1 million for the wastewater plant upgrades. If the new resolution is approved, the sanitary project will receive the full $2 million.
“This is to reallocate the $1 million for water to sewer,” Marsh explained during Wednesday’s meeting of the city’s Finance Committee.
A second resolution would set aside another $2 million for the sewer project.
“It will be once we receive our second allocation,” Finance Director Diana Smoljanovich explained, noting those funds are expected sometime in either May or June.
City officials have been planning the expansion projects for the last three years, with both treatment plants to grow from a capacity of 4 million gallons per day to 8 million gallons per day.
It is estimated the wastewater treatment upgrades will cost $24,035,000, with the water treatment plant project estimated at $26,850,000.
The city continues to look at other funding sources to cover some of these costs, including a proposed $24 million from a U.S. Senate allocation for the water treatment plant project. The Congressional funds are depending on the passage of the federal budget.
(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)
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