POMEROY — Pomeroy Village Council held a special meeting on Thursday evening, scheduling another for Sunday evening, with regard to an ordinance to delay a water and sewer rate increase.
The group briefly debated waiving the third reading before voting to hold an additional meeting Sunday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. An advantage of waiving the third reading, which council determined would have required five votes per the Ohio Revised Code, would have allowed the billing departments more notice of the change.
Council President Don Anderson cast a ‘no’ vote, citing some citizens’ concern about overuse of emergency and special measures.
“I think, in fairness to the citizenry, we should have another meeting,” he said, although he expressed intent to vote in the affirmative on Sunday.
Ordinance 782-12 amends 780-16 Section 4 to make 4.75 percent inflationary increases occur yearly on June 1 to the water and sewer rates. The increase is set to take effect Feb. 1 should council not approve the ordinance on Sunday.
Past inflation rates have been set at 3 percent, and Clerk Sue Baker said 4.75 percent is a high end inflation number and mostly due to fewer customers, but added the rate could come back down in the future if the customer situation changed.
Pomeroy resident Randy Smith asked the council a series of questions about the future of the water/sewer management, which propagated a lengthy discussion.
Prior to adjournment, and as a follow up to Smith’s questions, council person Victor Young asked additional information be provided by the water department in a future meeting — whether some customers received a credit to their water bill, and what procedure was used to determine eligibility if that occurred.
Michael Hart is a freelance writer for the Sentinel.