On December 5, 2012, the Avon Lake Municipal Utilities Board approved a small, two-year water rate increase that will take effect 7/1/13 and 7/1/14. The increase will allow us to continue to provide high quality water to our customers, while responding to increased costs. The average Avon Lake customer will pay about a penny per day more with the 4% rate increase each of the next two years.
As you may know, rates went up in the last couple years; that increase was to pay for capital improvements and increased water flow to meet the demand of our growing city. This rate adjustment is to keep up with our rising costs. The heavy rains of 2011, along with the lack of a frozen Lake Erie in 2011/2012 meant more algae in the water, which meant we had to use more chemicals than normal, and for more months of the year.
Rather than holding rates steady for long periods of time and then significantly increasing rates, ALMU intends to increase rates in smaller increments annually. This allows us to take into account any cost savings as we realize them. For example, we recently signed an energy curtailment agreement that will save our customers approximately $600,000 during the next three years; and we are working to identify less expensive water plant residuals management alternatives. Management of these residuals currently costs over
$900,000 per year.
The rates Avon Lake customers pay for water service remain among the lowest in the state. The most recent Ohio EPA rate survey stated that Avon Lake residents have the second lowest annual water bill in Ohio. As always, we at Avon Lake Municipal Utilities strive to base all decisions to best balance quality, quantity, cost, and service, keeping you – and our environment – healthy through sustainable water management.