Existing surcharge rates put forth by the Solon city Water Reclamation Plant will remain the same for this year, officials said last week.

During a discussion at City Council Public Works Committee, Stan Smith, operations/monitoring division manager for the plant, reported that the plant completed the 2019 annual industrial surcharge rate review and the recommendation was to keep rates the same.

“Our rate review indicates only moderate rate changes and therefore we recommended existing rates remaining the same for 2019,” he said.

Spending increased minimally due to cost containment efforts, Mr. Smith added. Also, there was an increase based on the headworks renovation and equalization tank projects, amounting to about $8.7 million, but that was expected, Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Smith said the plant will continue to do future rate reviews which will allow them to identify trends and assist in determining rate adjustments.

The department reviews surcharge rates as required by the city’s codified ordinances. Surcharge rates are what the city charges industrial users for treatment of high strength waste, Mr. Solanics said. That type of waste includes heavy metals and high organic loads.

About 23 companies are charged under the surcharge program, and it rounds off to about $520,000 a year in revenue. The plant’s total operating budget is about $4 million.

The surcharge rates are reviewed annually. The last time they were raised was in 2011, and the last time they were decreased was in 2014.

Mr. Smith said that this year will be a better basis on which to make a future recommendation compared to the last year of spending for the large-scale project.

Councilman Marc R. Kotora told Mr. Smith that he appreciated the analysis including the construction cost.

“That helps give us a better picture,” he said.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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