City sewer rates are going up

Beginning in April of this year, your sewer rates will be going up if you live in the city of Portsmouth.

At the end of 2015 the city had every fund in the black except for the Wastewater Fund. The last time the city’s finances were not in deficit was 2007.

The city’s Wastewater Fund has been in a deficit 9 of the past 11 years and ended 2015 with a deficit balance of $965,198.31.

In October 2013 the city of Portsmouth entered into a consent agreement with the United States EPA to make millions of dollars’ worth of maintenance and capital improvements to its aging sewer system.

Some of the projects have already been started and completed and there are several yet to be started. As a result the deficit condition has worsened over the past two years.

The Wastewater rates were last raised in March 2013, and according to Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen, were insufficient to meet the financial needs of the city.

The current base chage which includes the first 1,000 gallons, is $7.01, and in April that will climb to $11. Every 1,000 after the first 1,000 is currently $3.78 and will raise to $5. Every 1,000 after 13,000 will remain at $5.13 and every 1,000 after 33,000 will remain at $5.54.

The base charge remains unchanged for New Boston consumers since the village already has placed an additional charge for their EPA mandated sewer projects.

Allen said the rate change will remove the deficit condition in the fund as well as position the city to make the mandated improvements to the city sewer system.

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.