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For Immediate Release

February 1, 2007

Rate increase for clean water projects approved

Cleveland - The Board of Trustees of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District voted today to accept the recommendation to increase sewer rates effective March 1, 2007.

This rate increase is needed to pay for $174.7 million in federally mandated projects to reduce untreated wastewater from entering our waterways; $405.5 million in needed upgrades to our treatment facilities; and increasing operations and maintenance expenses due, in part, to rising energy and chemical costs.

Currently, Cleveland residents pay $28.10 and suburban residents pay $32.60 per 7,480 gallons of used water, averaging .80 cents a day for clean water. By the end of 2011, customers will pay, on average, $1.20 a day. Following is the new five year rate schedule for 2007 through 2011.

The Board of Trustees vote came after a decision to reduce the previous five year proposed rate increase from 10.8% to 8.9% yearly. The previous rate increase plan included $419 million in long-term control projects that would reduce the flow of combined sewer overflows (a combination of untreated wastewater and stormwater) from entering our waterways. With long-term control timeframe negotiations between NEORSD and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at a standstill, however, the five-year projected cost was reduced from $419 million to $174.7 million; the long-term combined sewer overflow projects will most likely begin in 2010.

Ron Sulik, President of the NEORSD Board of Trustees, said: "The Board of Trustees has given careful and thorough consideration to the proposed rate increase. Due to a lack of funding by the Federal government and the number of upgrades needed throughout our communities aging sewer system, the rate increase was necessary and unavoidable. We will continue to be fiscally conscientious by responsibly investing dollars in projects that will protect our clean water resources.

The District has repeatedly demonstrated fiscal responsibility, most notably in infrastructure investments. Erwin Odeal, Executive Director of NEORSD, stated: Over the past 20 years, we have invested nearly $1 billion in clean water projects, varying 4.4% from the original cost. This number is well-below the 10% national standard.

For additional information, please call Jeannie Chapman, Public Information Specialist, at 216.881.6600 or e-mail at

Download the Adobe PDF file by clicking the link below for the full rate schedule and official press release.

Rate increase for clean water projects approved