Columbus water rate hike to affect Groveport

Some in Groveport will feel the pinch of Columbus’ water and sewer rate hikes.

Columbus City Council approved increasing  its water and sewer rates by 12.5 percent for city customers and 13.5 percent for suburban customers in 2008.

The increase will cost the average suburban customer about an extra $100 a year.

Though Groveport has its own separate water plant, water system, and rates; a portion of the village gets and pays for water from Columbus. Currently 1,085 residences, 59 businesses, and 11 governmental sites are Groveport water customers while Columbus has a total of 819 water customers within Groveport’s village limits.

"For Groveport residents on the Columbus water system, the water and sewer rate increases being enacted by the city of Columbus will be passed on directly to the consumer," said Groveport Village Administrator Jon Crusey. "For those on the Groveport water system, rate increases are anticipated at 7.9 percent for water and 6.4 percent for sewer. However, EMH&T will be presenting an updated water rate study to (Groveport Village) council at its Dec. 10 committee meeting that could affect the (village’s) projected water rate increase."

Currently customers on the Groveport water system pay $4.24 per 1,000 gallons for water and $5.88 per 1,000 gallons for sewer.

When asked what affect Columbus’ rate increases could have on Groveport’s $1.5 million proposed water and sewer projects in 2008 – including water tank repairs, new water tower, line replacement and general maintenance and repairs – Crusey stated, "The Columbus rate increases will not affect the village’s proposed water projects. Those projects are funded through user fees for those on Groveport’s water system, which is separate from and not affected by the Columbus water system. There are currently no anticipated sewer capital projects."

Also, Crusey noted Columbus’ sewer rate increase would not impact Groveport’s proposed west Groveport Road sewer project if that project would be funded via direct assessment.

Other Groveport news

•Council heard the second reading of legislation for the proposed $24 million, 2008 village budget. The proposed 2008 budget, as well as the five year capital improvement plan, may be viewed by the public at the Groveport Municipal Building, 655 Blacklick St.

•Council approved ordinances to annex two properties: 25.7 and 29.7 acre sites on the south side of Rohr Road west of State Route 317; and also an ordinance to amend the zoning at the sites from suburban office to planned industrial park. Plans call for the construction of a 567,000 square foot warehouse and a 675,000 square foot warehouse on the sites.

•Council passed an ordinance to adjust the village employees’ share of health insurance premiums from 10 percent to 9.4 percent. The change is being made so the employees do not realize an increase in their health insurance premiums as a result of the village’s new health plan with Medical Mutual of Ohio.

The change to Medical Mutual of Ohio was made because the village’s previous health insurance carrier, Anthem, quoted the village a price of $801,973, an increase of $121,472, or 17.85 percent, over the previous contract.

The Medical Mutual of Ohio price was only a $25,710, or 3.78 percent, increase over the existing contract.

•Mayor Lance Westcamp appointed Councilwoman Jan Stoots to the village’s planning and zoning commission effective Jan. 1, 2008. Stoots lost her re-election bid for her council seat on Nov. 6.

•Crusey informed council that the liquor permits in the village will expire on Feb. 1, 2008 and that, if council wishes to request a hearing to present any objections it has regarding the renewal of any of the existing permits, it must pass a resolution to do so at its Dec. 17 meeting. Jan. 2, 2008 is the deadline to file an objection to a liquor permit renewal. Currently the following entities have liquor permits to operate in the village: Groveport Lounge, Birch Tavern, the pro shop at The Links at Groveport, Little Italy’s, Certified, Norm’s Market, Rickenbacker BP, and Kroger.

•Recreation Director Kyle Lund reported that attendance at the Groveport Recreation Center for October was 13,386, which is a three percent increase over attendance in October of 2006. (The figures do not include visitors associated with programs, rentals, or special events.)

•Golf Director Tom Walker reported golf rounds for October were up by 61.7 percent over October 2006.

"We have already surpassed our 2006 round count through Nov. 20," said Walker. "I hope to continue to end the season on a strong note."

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