Thursday night, we told you Youngstown City Council will be considering raising wastewater rates in the city, but could this also affect people living in the suburbs?
The next step the city says is to renegotiate their contracts with Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.
"We didn't want any increase, but the unfunded mandates require us to do something," said Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown.
EPA mandates to upgrade Youngstown's sewage treatment plant— that's what Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown said is the cause of the proposed 4% wastewater rate hike for people in the city. Still, the next step is to renegotiate with Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, which could affect the suburbs.
"We're going to reassess what they're paying and look at their usage and what's that formula and how do we come to a good number that works for all of us," he said.
Youngstown's financial consultant Michael Abouserhal said that it's time to look at these agreements as the formula was created years ago, and they want to make sure everyone is paying their fair share.
"It appears, again, through conversations even with the EPA who is kind of an independent party to all this, they may not be, and so I think that ultimately has to be discussed," Albouserhal commented.
Austintown Township Trustee Jim Davis is concerned about the possibility of a rate increase.
"An increase in sewage rates at the city eventually breaks down that it's going to come down to the county commissioners to make a decision which ultimately could mean a raise and a hike in our sewage rates here in Austintown Township."
The city's financial consultant stressed that the primary reason for the rate increase is the plant upgrades and not the amount used for economic development.