At the June 8th Garrettsville Board of Public Affairs Meeting, the Board discussed a change to the billing that would bring the water usage into alignment with the sewer billing. Under the previous system, a water customer looking at their bill in June would see water usage for April, and sewer usage for May. The BPA agreed to align the water and sewer bills.
Jeff Sheehan, Water Superintendent, provided the backstory for the current billing situation. For years the meter reading was done manually. Water Department employees would go door-to-door, accumulating data and handing it off to the clerical staff to create the bills. The water and sewer bills were then sent out twice a year. Eventually the BPA moved to quarterly billing to ease the financial burden on customers – requiring about 60 days for recording and processing water usage and de-synchronizing the water and sewer billing. Today the village water meters are read electronically, taking about 1.5 hours, and the data is processed within two days.
The BPA chose the September billing to add a catch-up charge to the water bill. The bill customers receive this month will show the water charge and sewer charge for July, and a second “base-rate” water charge to cover usage in August —resynchronizing every customer’s water bill with their sewer bill moving forward. Under the plan the “catch-up” charge is for water service only and does not include any surcharges for the heavy users (schools, laundromats, etc.). Portions of this article were written and published by the Weekly Villager.