WEATHERSFIELD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) — The Mahoning Valley Sanitary District has asked Youngstown City Council to support a rate increase that will go toward renovations on the Meander Reservoir and other projects.

Mike McNich, chief engineer of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District, made it clear to Youngstown City Council’s Public Utilities Committee what the purpose of the rate request is.

“We’re proposing to have an increase in the water rates that Mahoning Valley Sanitary District charges to the city of Youngstown,” McNich said.

McNich said the MVSD hasn’t had a rate increase since 2015. He’s proposing 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. He said it will cost individual users each an extra 33 cents per month.

The $48 million renovation of the Meander Reservoir Dam is one reason the rate increase is needed. The dam holding back the Meander Reservoir is over 90 years old and in need of repairs. The reservoir’s water has been described as the premier drinking water source in the Mahoning Valley.

Also needing replaced is one of the three main lines that feeds water from MVSD to Youngstown. McNich said soil conditions are causing the line to deteriorate.

The third project involves the construction of a third water treatment processing plant on MVSD property.

“We believe we are going to need [this] going forward, based on the development that is going on in Lordstown,” McNich said.

McNich said other partner communities — Niles and McDonald — have already approved, and he hopes Youngstown would approve, too.

The MVSD is regulated by two judges: Anthony Donofrio of Mahoning County and Ronald Rice of Trumbull County.

They’re meeting Dec. 14 to decide on the rate increase. The plan is to have a resolution before Youngstown Council supporting the rate hike by then.