Youngstown Wastewater Town Hall clears up misunderstandings on raise in rates
People who live in Youngstown are asking questions, and while they may not like what they are hearing, they are getting answers as the city plans to raise wastewater rates.
Dozens of people went to the Covelli Centre for a Wastewater Town Hall Tuesday night so they could learn from city officials why their rates would be raised.
Those officials said the reason for the rate increase is for necessary mandated EPA upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant that the city can't afford by itself.
Customers could see their bills go up to four percent each year over the next five years to pay for $76 million in upgrades.
"Our money's gonna be totally gone because it's completely broke," said one resident. "That is out of this, you know, world. What are we supposed to do?"
Mayor Tito Brown said the city first thought about eight percent as the rate increase but realized four percent was more affordable.
"Affordability is big. Most people here are on fixed incomes, they're not getting any new funding, new money, so it's, 'How do I pay a little more out of my budget?', and that's kind of the wallet or the purse story is what people look at," said Mayor Brown.
The rate increase still needs to be voted on by city council by the end of the year so that it can go into effect January first.
Seventh Ward Councilwoman Basia Adamczak also released a statement on the meeting that can be read below.