Delaware residents’ utility bills will be higher in May.
City Council approved Monday night an increase of water and refuse rates for the first time since 2012 and 2011, respectively. Storm and sewer rates remain the same.
The average resident’s utility bill will increase by about 2.86 percent, said Finance Director Dean Stelzer. Water rates will increase to $36.93 from $34.84 and refuse rates will increase to $20.60.
The water rates are to cover rising treatment costs, mainly electrical, at the new water plant on U.S. Route 23. The city completed estimated $32-million project was completed in 2015 to meet the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s water quality standards and capacity needs.
In addition, tap fees for the city’s new water customers will increase to $800 from $400 for a 1-inch tap and from $350 to $700 for taps less than an inch.
“It’s a tap fee to pretty much I think cover the cost of installing a meter paid for by the city that’s also going up slightly,” Stelzer said.
Additionally, Council approved a 10 to 15 percent reduction for commercial dumpster rates. Collection of a 6-cubic-yard dumpster will cost businesses and multi-family developments $121.80, instead of $143.98.
Representatives of some apartments and condominiums have asked Council to opt out of the service because lower-priced options are available in the private sector.
The city may consider suspending its commercial trash collection service in the future. The city now serves 37 businesses, 80 multi-family developments and 17 city parks and facilities out of more than 2,500 businesses.
The refuse rate changes between residential and commercial are expected to offset each other with a slight increase in total revenue projected, according to a city-prepared fact sheet.
New rates will be effective May 1.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.