On Thursday evening, the New Albany City Council will take their final vote on bill G-16-03. If approved on final reading, the ordinance would fulfill three major goals:
Safeguard residents and businesses against large sewer rate increases by assigning the Consumer Price Index for future rate changes
No one is happy when their sewer bill raises 40% over 2 years, and that's exactly what happened in New Albany in 2010 because sewer rate issues were not addressed for nearly a decade. Other nearby communities are experiencing similar massive spikes in sewer rates, with some cities even experiencing approximately 200% increases to their monthly rates. By assigning the Consumer Price Index to sewer rate increases, massive one-time bumps can be prevented.
"The CPI will act as a way to protect residents and businesses from exorbitant or huge rate increases." - Mayor Jeff Gahan
Protect public health
In 1992, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demanded that the City eliminate sanitary sewer overflows in the City of New Albany under a Consent Decree. A sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) occurs when untreated sewage is discharged from the system before it reaches the treatment facility. Since 2010, the City of New Albany has made great progress on this front, going from nearly 80 sites where SSOs could occur to only 16 present-day sites. The proposed ordinance before the City Council will fund projects aimed at eliminating these final SSO sites.
"Unsanitary water coming out of the top of the manhole running in the streets, exposing our citizens to contamination, is not acceptable - period." - Mayor Gahan.
Promote Economic Growth
As part of the Environmental Protection Agency's 1992 Consent Decree, oversight and final approval of any new development that would tie into the New Albany Sewer System lies with the EPA. This means that the EPA can limit, reduce, or deny economic development projects and growth opportunities for the City. With the growth the City is experiencing and interest in New Albany at an all-time high, we must ensure that we comply with the Consent Decree so that we can continue to promote economic growth in New Albany.