WARREN - Some Howland customers of the Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer's Office will likely see a rate increase of more than 50 percent on their sewer bill next year.
The increase will be the result of merging 760 customers in the township into another sewer district that has higher rates because the district they belong to now, according to a letter sent to customers, ''can no longer support itself.''
The proposed merger with the Metropolitan Sewer District, the county's largest, still needs the blessing of Trumbull County commissioners, who should vote on it today.
Rates would increase from $4.17 per 1,000 gallons to $6.46 and then again in 2013 to $6.66 because of a rate adjustment program already in place for Metropolitan District users. In addition, the users merged from Howland will be charged a new monthly $2 sewer improvement fee, also already in place in the Metropolitan District.
Rates for water well users will increase from $25 a month to $38.78 and $39.94. A well rate is applied to customers with water wells because it's difficult to determine how much water they consume, a number used to determine sewer usage. It's typically the average usage of a normal customer.
The changes will be applied to bills due in January. The district is south of U.S. Route 422 and west of North Road.
660 sewer customers in Howland will see a rate increase next year:
2012 - $4.17 per 1,000 gallons to $6.46 and a monthly $2 sewer improvement fee
2013 - The 1,000 gallon rate increases to $6.66
Rates for water well users will increase from $25 a month to $38.78 and $39.94
The decision to merge the district was made instead of following the recommendation in a 2010 rate adjustment study to raise the rates to $8.57 per 1,000 gallons and $55.80 for users with wells, said Rex Fee, sanitary engineer's office executive director. The county also approached Niles about assuming the customers, but the city declined, Fee said.