No Groveport water rate increase in 2018; plus Santa Claus news!

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The steady drip of annual water rate increases for customers on the city of Groveport water system will come to an end in 2018.

“We are recommending no water rate increase for 2018,” Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall told Groveport City Council at its March 20 meeting.

Water rates for those on the Groveport water system had increased every year since 2012. These increases included a 20 percent increase in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015; a 12 percent increase in 2016; and a 3 percent increase in 2017. These were the city’s first water rate increases since 2007.

“Those increases were put into place in order to have the revenue necessary for the construction of the new water plant, necessary due to Ohio EPA concerns about the old water plant, as well as catching up after not increasing rates to keep up with expenses for several years,” said Hall.

Groveport’s new water plant began operating in 2015.

Hall noted the portion of Groveport that is on the city of Columbus water system has “routinely seen an annual increase (in water rates) of 3 percent over the last several years to keep up with inflation.”

Hall said a city of Groveport water rate increase is not needed in 2018 because water expenses are “trending downward.”

“Over the last three years actual expenses have averaged 90 percent of appropriations,” said Hall.

Hall said city officials will review the city of Groveport water rates situation in 2018 to see if a potential small increase is needed in 2019 “to account for any possible large water line repairs that may be needed and inflation in the cost of supplies.”

Hall said it is better to have smaller potential future water rate increases, such as 2 or 3 percent per year, to keep up with costs rather than waiting and having to make a large rate increase later.

“We believe small annual increases to account for increased costs are better for both the city and the consumer than having no increases for multiple years and then charging a series of large increases,” said Hall.

Hall noted that potential future sewer rate increases differ from city of Groveport water rates in that Groveport contracts for sewer service with the city of Columbus.

“When it comes to sewer rates, we have to use whatever rate Columbus sets,” said Hall.

Santa Claus is coming to town

When Santa Claus makes his annual visit to Groveport this coming December, he will arrive at, and visit with children at, the log house in Heritage Park on Wirt Road rather than at Groveport Town Hall as he has for many years.

The annual tree lighting will also be moved from the tree at the corner of Crooked Alley and Main Street to a tree (or trees) in Heritage Park.

“The Santa event is getting larger each year and it is becoming a safety issue at Town Hall,” said Groveport Community Affairs Director Patty Storts. “It’s time for a change.”

Council decided to move the Santa event to the log house after also considering holding the event outside in Groveport Park near the Groveport Recreation Center.

Details and other potential changes regarding the event are still being worked out and will be announced later this year.

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