Why our Sewer Rates Increased

The estimated cost for the 26 major projects under the Consent Decree has increased from $870 million in 2011 to now an estimated $1.2 billion – an increase of almost 28% and more than $300 million dollars. The City knows this is a heavy burden for ratepayers.

The Federal Government has had no substantial financial assistance to cities like Akron since the 1980s. This means that the 770+ cities with combined sewers have to pay for improvements at the local level. The State of Ohio has offered some low- interest loans to assist Ohio cities, but the burden falls on the ratepayers of the system: the homeowners and businesses in Akron and surrounding communities. Ratepayers in Fairlawn, Springfield, Coventry, Copley, Bath, Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge, and Mogadore have also seen increases in their bills.

In 2021, Congress began hearings regarding the impact of consent decrees to local communities and may look to begin funding some local projects. Akron is watching these developments closely and is advocating for federal resources.