Loveland City Council passed an ordinance at their December 12, 2017 meeting approving a 5% flat rate increase for 2018, 2% flat rate increase for 2019 and a 2% increase for 2020 in combination with a progressive tier for usage greater than 5,000 gallons per month. The addition of a tiered rate structure design avoids placing additional burden on those with minimal water usage.
The more water a customer uses, usage moves into the higher tier(s) resulting in higher charges for water use. With the switch to a tiered structure, it is estimated that 60% of utility accounts will not be affected by the increase for usage over 5,000 gallons. The flat rate increase on our minimum bill customers inside the City limits equates to $7.80 annually or about two cents per day. Customers can expect to see the change on their bill due February 15.
Loveland utility customers have not experienced a water rate increase since January 2016 while many other communities have raised rates annually. We need to adequately provide for the continued water operation and maintenance for replacements and improvements that are not deferred or completely financed. Deferment of projects and repairs typically cost more in the long run as more maintenance is required and due to inflation. The City needs to replace water mains annually to keep on track with a useful life of 80-100 years of these critical assets. The City has been extremely successful in utilizing zero-percent interest loans and grant funding when available and continues to look for ways to keep Loveland’s water rates as one of the lowest in the area.
The City of Oakwood annually collects data from municipalities regarding water and sewer rates and publishes the data for benchmarking purposes. In the 2017 study, Loveland had the fifth lowest rate among 63 jurisdictions surveyed. In data supplied by the City of Cincinnati, Loveland has the second lowest water rate for the average single-family household.
Even with the 5% increase and progressive tier, the City of Loveland is still the seventh lowest rate on the 2017 City of Oakwood survey and third lowest on the City of Cincinnati chart.
For more information, contact: David Kennedy, City Manager at 513.707.1454.