Over the past few months, the Water Works and Finance Committees have been reviewing the historical background and future demands of the Indian Hill Water Works. The review has been based on a ten year capital improvement replacement plan. Discussions also included the impact low usage years and significant repairs of complex infrastructure have had on decreasing the Water Works reserves.
The Committees discussed how the water users have benefitted from no water rate increase over the last seven years. However, costs to continually repair and maintain overextended infrastructure are not outweighing the benefits. The Committees reviewed many scenarios to fully comprehend the budgetary effects. The Committees analyzed what water rate increases may be needed to efficiently run Indian Hill Water Works Fund while also evaluating how potential increases would impact water users.
May 2008 was the last time that Indian Hill residents saw a water rate increase. Although residents have seen larger water invoices over the past several years, such costs were a result of sewer rate increases implemented by the Metropolitan Sewer District, not by the Village.
After a thorough discussion, the Committees recommended that Council consider a 5.0% increase in the water rate beginning July 1, 2015. This recommended increase is based on the need to replace several water mains that have been extended beyond their normal life expectancy. On June 15, 2015, after three readings, Council passed an Ordinance authorizing the 5.0% increase effective July 1st, 2015.
Beginning this year, future budgetary analyses for Indian Hill Water Works will include a multiyear infrastructure replacement program. This plan will be similar to the Village’s road resurfacing program as it defines the replacement cycle of all water infrastructure owned by the Village. This information in addition to routine capital and operating expenditures will be used to evaluate the water rate on an annual basis.
If you have any questions regarding this pending change to the water rates, please contact Dina Minneci, City Manager, at 513-561-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.