XENIA — A potential upcoming increase in sewer rates might not be as high as originally estimated.
County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said at a regular county commissioners’ meeting Aug. 9 that the potential increase for sewer rate payers may be more like a 2 percent increase over 3 or 4 years (totaling 6-8 percent), rather than the initially estimated 4 percent increase over 4 or 5 years (totaling 16-20 percent).
Huddleson said the timing of other bonds will allow the commissioners to not increase the rates so much.
The point of the increase is to fund a necessary major construction project at the Beavercreek wastewater treatment plant, as well as smaller sewer line projects throughout the system. The plant has been reported as at or near capacity due to local growth.
Guided by a demand from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the county is beginning to plan for the future — specifically how to treat additional flows — which includes running a stress test on the plant during wet weather this fall.
The north part of the plant, built in the 1990s, already has land set aside to be able to expand and double the capacity of that piece, adding potentially another 6 million gallons worth of treatment.
Coming from a preliminary discussion during a work session July 26, the construction project could cost somewhere in the realm of $35 to $45 million, but actual numbers haven’t been calculated yet.