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Yes. In December 2019, Shaker Heights City Council approved legislation authorizing new local sewer fees to be phased in over four years starting in 2020.
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The new fixed fee will appear starting with the water bill you receive in June for usage in May 2020. This fee will be phased in over four years through 2023. The monthly fixed fee will increase by $2.50 each year.
No. This is the first time Shaker Heights will have a fixed sewer fee. Other communities such as University Heights, Twinsburg, Bay Village and South Euclid utilize fixed fees. (View a chart comparing fixed fees of other communities).
The current local usage rate (per thousand cubic feet of water used or MCF) is $10.50/MCF. Starting with the water bill you receive in June for usage in May 2020, the local usage (MCF) rate will increase by 50 cents each year through 2023.
In Shaker Heights, the last local MCF rate increase was in 2001, when the fee was raised to $10.50 per MCF where it remained until June 2020.
It is the unit of measurement (1000 cubic feet of water) for water usage. Your local MCF fee is calculated based on the local MCF rate and the number of MCFs used in your household.
Yes, it is variable. The number of MCFs consumed in each household will vary from month to month depending on water consumption. The less water you use, the less you pay.
Yes. These fees apply to each water account for all properties in the City, both residential and commercial.
After 4 years when fully implemented, the fixed fee will generate approximately $1 million per year and the variable local MCF fee will generate approximately an additional $200,000 per year (subject to change due to usage).
Our sewers were built to last 50 years but are now approaching 100 years old. The sewer infrastructure needs an aggressive maintenance and rehabilitation plan that requires more funding than is currently available in the City’s budget and through the current local MCF fee.
The fees will generate a funding stream for long term planning and continued aggressive maintenance of existing sewers and capital costs related to infrastructure such as new laterals and connections from the sewer main to private property, sewer linings and replacements. This will ensure that the sewer system remains viable for at least another 50 years.
The City’s sewer maintenance, repairs and replacement costs have been funded through (1) a Sewer Fund which is funded by fees generated solely from the current local MCF rate (which has not changed since 2001), and (2) an additional approximately $2.7M subsidy from the City’s general operating funds. However, the Sewer Fund has not been able to adequately cover rising operating and capital costs.
The fees will allow budget funds currently being used for sewer projects to be used instead for much-needed capital projects and other initiatives that will enable the City to achieve goals set forth by Council and the community.
In addition, prior to the new fees going into effect, the amount allocated for sewer repair and maintenance has been tied to the annual budget process so funds gets appropriated yearly and can change depending on other budget demands. This has made it difficult to plan ahead and leverage outside dollars for sewer projects. The new fees will result in a stable funding stream thus enabling the City to fully leverage grants and other funding sources.
The City has spent $10.54 million in capital improvements since the 2014 storm when we implemented a Sewer Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program following this 50-year flood. These expenditures have been funded by the current local MCF fee and subsidies from the City’s general operating fund. An additional $5.5 million has been spent on maintenance.
Shaker’s sewer rates are among the lowest in Cuyahoga County.
Both Cleveland Water and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District offer assistance programs for eligible customers.
To determine your discount consumption charges per MCF under this program, review the chart in the link below. Note: Shaker is the 2nd and 3rd high rate areas (determined by your address; Shaker is divided roughly at Warrensville Center Road---2nd high to the west and 3rd high to the east). Learn more and apply.