By Linda Dillman
Blacklick Estates residents could dig deeper into their budgets in the future to cover water and sewer costs as Aqua Ohio prepares to ask the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to consider rate increases for their customers across the state.
During a June 8 Madison Township trustees meeting, Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst reported on correspondence her office obtained regarding proposed increases.
“We have received notice from Aqua for both water and sewer,” said Brobst, who added if an increase is approved by the commission, it would probably go into effect the first quarter of 2022. “I’m not sure when they’re going to the PUCO.”
According to the Ohio Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, on Feb. 6, 2019, the PUCO approved a 3.66 percent system improvement charge for Aqua Ohio following a 2018 application. The company also requested a 3.5 percent improvement charge for households in its servicing area in 2020.
Ohio law allows PUCO-regulated water and wastewater companies to establish a system improvement charge based upon capital improvements and infrastructure replacements it made since its last received PUCO authority to increase rates.
“What can residents do to stop this,” asked Blacklick Estates resident Debbie Miller. “Our water rates are already ridiculously high. People’s basements back up continuously. I don’t know what we’re paying for and I certainly don’t want to pay more.”
Trustee Chairman John Pritchard urged residents to voice their opinions and concerns to the PUCO regarding Aqua’s upcoming request.
“If people want to see a change, they need to show up in numbers,” said Pritchard, “but it has to come from the residents. The township doesn’t have any decision-making authority (regarding service/rate increases).”
Other Madison Township news
•Miller expressed concerns about speeding and drivers repeatedly ignoring the traffic light at Harbor and Noe-Bixby. She is afraid a life-threatening accident is going to happen at the intersection. She said many of the roads in Blacklick Estates are being used as racetracks.
“This is happening every day,” said Miller. “On Sunday three came by going as fast as could be and then slammed on their brakes. It seems to be the same cars. It’s summer and kids are out. Somehow, we need to put an end to this. I don’t want to be reactive when a child gets hurt or killed.”
Madison Township Police Chief Gary York said his officers are working certain areas with stationary radar and recently cited one of the vehicles referred to by Miller. He said he will ensure information shared by Miller will be passed along to his officers.
York said while he is familiar with postings on social media regarding the situation, he encouraged people to call the police department at 614-836-5355 during business hours to report their concerns.
“With that information, if we see calls in one specific area, we can focus on that area,” added Pritchard. “When we see patterns, we can put officers out there at a certain time.”
•York said Madison Township police officers will conduct hands-on training for a level one Woman’s Self Defense Class on June 19, 8 a.m. to noon at 4575 Madison Lane. The class is free for individuals ages 12 and up and is limited to 20 people, who will learn different tactics such as strikes, kicks and hold escapes to help defend themselves from an unwanted attacker.
For information about the class, call the police department at 614-836-5355.