Toledoans blue about proposed water rate increase

Mayor Mike Bell wants to increase water rates to repair Toledo's drinking water treatment plant.

Mayor Mike Bellâ??s proposed water rate increase was up for debate at the Toledo City Council meeting last Tuesday night.

Bell said the water rates in the Glass City are much lower than other cities in the region, and those costs have resulted in a water treatment facility that's in desperate need of repair.

"Who wants to see brown water? Ok. I don't see anybody raising their hand for some brown water," Bell said during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Though it may be much needed, it's a hard pill to swallow for those paying the price. Lamont Hobbs, owner of numerous salons in the area, said his business would feel the higher rate the most.

â??Youâ??re going to have to take care of the water bill over multiple businesses, and if you incur just a little increase over all the businesses, the cost will definitely affect you,â?? he said.

If approved, residents will pay around $125 more per year by 2018. Residents on a fixed income would see less of an increase, but for those already struggling, every dollar counts.

â??When I was in (the public utilities office) a few minutes ago, there was a lady that was very concerned. She was an elderly lady that was very concerned about her water bill being a little higher than she expected so she was making a payment arrangement,â?? Hobbs said.