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      City officials explain proposed sewer rate increase

      TOLEDO - A public meeting on Toledo sewer rates turned into a discussion of the water crisis when audience members got the chance to ask questions Monday night.

      City officials explained to the public why their sewer rates could be increasing by more than seven percent each year for the next six years.

      The proposed rate hike would help finance the Toledo Waterways Initiative. The increase would fund a new pipeline and two sewer overflow storage basins.

      Julie Cousino is the Toledo Waterways Initiative Program Administrator.

      â??This is to eliminate the untreated sewage that goes into our area waterways,â?? she said. â??So itâ??s specifically to eliminate a total reduction of 80% of those untreated sewage overflows.â??

      Public Utilities Director Ed Moore stressed that the Toledo Waterways Initiative affects the sewer system, and Moore says it has nothing to do with drinking water.

      READ MORE: Toledo Water Crisis

      But when it came time for questions, not everyone was asking about sewer rates. Yvonne Harper of Central City expressed concerns about how city officials handled the recent water emergency.

      â??I have an issue that they kept coming out with different answers,â?? Harper said. â??EPA, then Marcy Kaptur was getting upset. Everybody was getting upset.â??

      Councilwoman Lindsay Webb says City Council will vote on the proposed sewer rate increase this month.

      Another public discussion on the proposed rate increase will be held August 20th at City Council Chambers.