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Ottawa sewer rates to increase

Posted by wlpo on October 19, 2010

Sewer rates in Ottawa are going up $4 a month.

A study was just finished on the city’s CSO, or combined sewer overflow issue that the EPA mandates be fixed.  The Ottawa City Council spent nearly one million dollars on the study and they estimate it’ll cost at least $14 million to separate storm and sanitary sewers.

Mayor Bob Eschbach and other council members said their first choice wasn’t to raise sewer bills.  They’d like to set up a storm water management fee instead where a person pays based on size of property.  The city can’t do this because they’re not Home Rule style government.

Commissioner Dan Aussem was quick to say the council wasn’t using this issue as an “avenue to pass home rule”.  Home Rule Government was proposed a few years ago in Ottawa but was voted down handily.

Eschbach expects the $4 sewer increase to generate about $500,000 a year which will only pay a part of the planned sewer work.  He also mentioned looking at grants.

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