Copy
The eNewsletter of Loveland, Ohio.
                       View this email in your browser
City Hall 120 W Loveland, Loveland OH 45140  •  lovelandoh.gov  •  513-683-0150   

Proposed Modification to Minimum Water Usage Amount


The city is proud of its financial stability.  Conservative budgeting, strict reserve policies, award winning budgeting, and an aggressive pursuit of grant funding by staff, all account for a city which is able to provide quality services to our residents, support to our business community, and lay the  foundation for future growth.

If there is a vulnerability in the city’s financial structure, it lies within our water funds. While the city is proud of its low water rates, largely seen as a way to offset the high fees for sewer service charged by the Metropolitan Sewer Service (MSD), it produces insufficient revenue to complete upgrades and repairs to our water distribution system.

It is important to note that water funds are classified as “Enterprise Funds”.  Enterprise funds are defined as: a fund in which the services provided to customers or residents are financed and operated similarly to a private business. An enterprise fund is operated so that the costs of providing services are financed through user fees and charges.  

The city accounts for its water revenue and expenditures in two separate funds; Water Operations and Water Capital Improvements. Revenue to these funds come primarily from user fees, with 60% being accounted into the Water Operations Fund and 40% into the Water Capital Improvements Fund.  The 2020 Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budgeted $1,685,400 in water user fees for both funds. The water funds receive nominal revenue from other sources, including leases for cellular antennas located on our water towers and water impact fees for new residential units.

Expenses for both funds are divided by their purposes. Those that are operative by nature, such as salaries, insurance, billing costs, supplies and office equipment are expended by the Water Operation Fund. Expenses associated with the capital improvement fund are related to needed equipment, upgrades, and repairs to the water system.  Unfortunately, the largest annual expense from the capital improvements fund is debt service.  In the 2020 budget, annual debt service accounted for 58% of all expenses from the Water Capital Improvements Fund.

The need for adding debt is a necessary evil, in that our water system, as the distribution portion, is aging, and needed repairs are costly.  Without a sufficiently funded capital fund, the only alternative is securing debt to complete the projects.  In addition to 76 miles, of water lines the city must maintain a regular schedule of maintenance of its storage system, which includes four elevated water towers and three ground tanks.  These towers and tanks are an important component of our water system and have the ability to maintain five million gallons of water storage for water usage and fire protection.

Why don’t you just raise the water rates again?  Since 2014, the city has made multiple percentage-based water rates.  Inevitably, these produced corresponding increases in overall revenue to the water funds.  Unfortunately, during that same period of time, additional debt was needed to make important water system improvements, including the Loveland-Miamiville Waterline (2019), Union Cemetery Waterline (2016) and the repair of two water towers (2018).  These three projects increased the annual debt service to the water fund by over $111,000, largely negating revenue observed by the rate increases.

In an effort to begin changing the cycle of 1) identified water system improvement need, 2) secure financing, 3) repeat, we are looking for a long term solution that increases revenue and does it in a manner that is equitable to all users.  With that in mind, rather than simply proposing another, across the board, percentage-based, rate increase, we are proposing a modification to the structure of our water rates.  This proposal would include a reduction of the water minimum, from its current 4,000 gallons a month, to 2,240 gallons per month.  The benefit to a modification to the water minimum, is that it has a lesser impact on residential structures, especially those who utilize minimal water each month, and the increased revenue is spread among all of the varying water users including, multiple family units and those receiving our water service who live outside of our city limits.

To calculate the potential revenue the reduced water minimum could produce, and the impact it would have on our customers, extensive testing was completed by city staff.  The testing included creating formulas and recalculating past water billing cycles utilizing the reduced monthly minimum. (see sample result below) The results were what we had hoped, an average monthly revenue increase of $22,723 would not cause a single-family resident's water bill to go up greater than $7.00 a month.  Also, during the test runs, an average of 1,097 single family customers observed no rate increase, as they still remained under the new water minimum.

While by no means does this reduction of the water minimum solve the city water fund problems, it does set us on a path towards creating a capital fund dedicated towards scheduled replacement of aged, undersized water mains, and staying on time with scheduled maintenance needs of our water storage tanks.  These additional funds can and will be used as leverage to secure additional grant dollars to fund capital improvements.

To help explain the financial situation of our water funds, the condition of our water distribution system and the proposed modification to our water billing structure, I made a formal presentation to the public and City Council at the September 22, meeting.  I realize that with the pandemic and let’s face it, not the most interesting topic, the meeting did not include much in the way of public.  I have placed the presentation on the city’s website for everyone to view as your time permits.  I also remain readily available to discuss the presentation and the proposed modification at any time.

To view the water presentation please click here: Water Presentation

My intention is to introduce legislation to City Council authorizing the amendment to the water minimum in October. If adopted, the revised water rates, calculated with the reduced minimum, would go into effect with the January billing. 

To contact me with questions or to request additional information, please call me at 707-1454, or send me an email at dkennedy@lovelandoh.gov.

Thanks for your time, and I welcome your comments.

David Kennedy
City Manager

Loveland Business Enhancement Award


Bishop's Quarter received Loveland's 2020 Business Enhancement Award. Recipients of this award demonstrate an increase in business, increase in employees, and the most effort to enhance the esthetics of their property through a combination of renovations, building additions, painting, or beautification projects.

Fire Station Open House


The Loveland-Symmes Fire Department will host an Open House at Station 63, located at 100 E. Loveland Avenue, on Tuesday, October 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.

Halloween Safety During the Coronavirus

Ohio Department of Health Halloween Best Practices

Halloween, like the rest of this year, will look a little different. Official Loveland Halloween hours remain 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31st. 

To keep all the ghouls and ghosts safe the Ohio Department of Health released some recommended best practices. We included some of the highlights below. Happy scaring!

  • The Ohio Department of Health recommended best practices include: 

    • Holding a drive-through or drive-in trick-or-treat event, with children in costume and face coverings staying in cars and collecting treats from individuals spaced at least 6 feet apart.

    • Holding drive-by costume or car-decorating contests with judges who are physically distanced.

    • Leaving treats in the mailboxes of friends and neighbors.

    • Decorating your home and hide treats as an alternative to trick-or-treating.

    • Holding costume parties or pumpkin carving events or contests online, such as by video conference.

    • If taking your children trick-or-treating, limit the number of houses you visit and ask your children to stay as far from treat-givers as possible. For small children, consider holding the bag for them.

    • Wipe off candy wrappers with sanitizing wipes when you arrive home. (NOTE: Never wipe unpackaged food with wipes.)

    • Allow children to eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid homemade treats made by strangers.

    • If your child is at greater risk of complications from COVID-19, contact your doctor before allowing participation in Halloween activities.

    • For trick-or-treating, reach out to neighbors to discuss ways to ensure 6-foot social distancing, how candy can most safely be distributed, and the need for face coverings.

    • Refrain from having children select their own treats from a bowl/common container or set up a hand-sanitizing station.

    • Consider placing treats on porch steps or a table in the driveway with a sign asking children to take only one. Or use other creative ways to distribute treats, such as using a candy “slide” made of PVC pipe, or hanging treats from a wall
      or fence.

Coronavirus Updates and Links

Additional Info... Ohio Department of Health Guide

Photo Credit: Meriton Suites

City Calendar


For a list of upcoming meetings, click here.
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Website
Copyright © *City of Loveland, Ohio, All rights reserved.

Contact Us:
http://www.lovelandoh.com/contact-us

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list



 






This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Loveland, Ohio · 120 W. Loveland Ave · Loveland, OH 45140 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp