Northeast Ohio sewer bills increasing with added stormwater management fee

Ohio Supreme Court grants approval

CLEVELAND - Sewer bills for northeast Ohio ratepayers will be increasing to help pay for a multi-million dollar storm water management program.

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The increase comes as a result of a Supreme Court of Ohio ruling that found the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District can legally add the fee to rate payers' bills to help pay for expensive flood control projects.

Three of the seven justices issued dissenting opinions.

The ruling comes after a lengthy legal battle that began in 2010 as local communities balked at the fee, claiming it was a tax increase.

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They also argued the sewer district did not have the legal authority to regulate storm water runoff—only sewage treatment.

The storm water management fee was temporarily suspended during the legal battle, but had already collected $20 million that was placed in escrow.

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According to a Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District news release, the sewer district identified more than $220 million of needed construction projects.

Homeowners can expect to pay roughly $140 more each year.

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