Lebanon raising water and sewer rates in 2023

Oct. 28—Lebanon's water and sewer customers will be seeing 2% increases for those services starting on Jan. 1, 2023.

The increases were recently approved by Lebanon City Council to ensure the sustainability of the water distribution and sanitary sewer systems. The effort is to comply with the enterprise bond covenants as recommended by the 2021 Water & Sewer Rate Study.

Darren D. Owens, city public works director, said the 2% increase for the water distribution system is needed for debt service coverage of the outstanding water debt state and continue to adequately fund water main replacement program and the maintenance of the water system. His report said the 2% increase is needed to the city can move forward without incurring the sale of additional debt.

Owens said the proposed 2% rate adjustment will increase the average residential water bill by 81 cents per month.

In the proposed 2023-2027 water Capital Improvement Program, main replacement projects are being coordinated with road construction projects that includes the $525,000 Cherry Street project. It also includes distribution system maintenance items that include a cost share of $150,000 for water meter node replacements and the painting of the composite water tower south of Home Depot, which is estimated to cost $300,000.

Owens said the 2% rate adjustment increase for sanitary sewer services is also being used to ensure the sustainability of that system and to support the proposed 2023-2027 sewer capital improvement program.

He said the proposed 2% sewer rate adjustment will increase the average residential sewer bill by 69 cents a month.

Owens said the sewer capital improvement program is being coordinated with the Cherry Street which will cost about $446,000; air improvements to the aeration tanks at the wastewater treatment plant costing $375,000 per tank; a $150,000 cost share for water meter node replacements; and the construction of a new Glosser Road pump station that also includes improvements to the storage tank at Glosser Road and an intermittent booster station which will cost $9.72 million.

Owens said these projects are necessary to address aging sewer infrastructure, and to ensure the wastewater treatment plant continues to meet regulatory requirements and the city meets the requirements of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency violation notice.