YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The two judges who preside over the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District have decided not to approve a rate increase that would have gone toward renovations of the Meander Reservoir — specifically a $48 million renovation of the Meander Reservoir Dam.

The district was asking for an increase in water rates for drinking water supplied to Youngstown, Niles and McDonald.

At a Youngstown City Council meeting in November, chief engineer Mike McNich said the MVSD hasn’t had a rate increase since 2015. He proposed increasing the price of the bulk rate of water it sells to Youngstown by 11 cents per 100,000 gallons every year for the next three years. That amount would have cost individual users each an extra 33 cents per month.

McNich said the dam holding back the Meander Reservoir is over 90 years old and in need of repairs. 

A hearing was held on Dec. 21 on the matter. A judgment entry from Judge Ronald Rice and Judge Anthony Donofrio stated, “based upon evidence submitted, the inconsistent financial figures provided, and the best interests of the public, the request is hereby denied.”

The judgment also ordered the district to provide the court with annual audited financial statements for the court to review.

The Mahoning Valley Sanitary District issued the following statement:

The Mahoning Valley Sanitary District respects the decision of the Court of Jurisdiction denying the requested rate increase filed by the Court December 29, 2022.  The District recognizes and thanks the Court for its efforts.  The District’s Chief Engineer will meet next week with management to determine the best way forward for the District on behalf of its members without the requested rate increase.  Ohio Revised Code Section 6115.104 requires a Sanitary District Advisory Council consisting of one member who uses water supplied directly or indirectly by the District to be appointed from each municipal corporation or township that receives all or part of its water supply from the District.  The cities and townships have identified for the District the individuals on the Advisory Council.  The District provides to each of the members of the Advisory Council notice of the date, time and place of all regular meetings of the District’s Board of Directors.  The District will consider all recommendations provided by the Advisory Council. 

Mahoning Valley Sanitary District