By Beau Dusz
Special to the Beacon Journal
WADSWORTH: Subscribers of the city’s Internet, cable television and sewer services might be in store for rate hikes as discussions for the 2014 budget evolve.
Service Director Chris Easton told City Council this week that Internet service is expected to increase by $1 a month due to the amount of bandwidth subscribers are using.
“Bandwidth demand was going up geometrically,” Easton said.
Currently, the city charges a flat rate for each Internet tier. Bruce Darlington, chairman of the Public Service Committee, recommended the city investigate charges based on bandwidth use.
Darlington said that under this policy there would be a flat fee for service and customers would be billed an additional amount for bandwidth used. He called it the “fairest way to charge.”
Easton said he believed the city has the technology in place to measure each customer’s bandwidth usage accurately. He expects to have the information on this issue for the committee’s August meeting.
Because of programming costs, cable television rates are expected to increase by $3.75 monthly, Easton said. Wadsworth has been offering cable service for nearly three decades and to date serves nearly 4,000 customers.
The city has extended service into Wadsworth Township.
Sewer rates are expected to jump by 5 percent next year, Easton added, basing the figure on a study done a few years ago. Robots are probing the city’s sewer system to detect faults, blockages and other problems.
Sewer charges are based on the amount of water a customer uses.
Before any increase is enacted, Easton said, the Public Service Committee would review the proposal, and it also would need City Council approval.
The city’s income taxes for 2014 are projected to be $8.6 million, assistant auditor Lee-Ann Dunkle said. The amount of local government funds provided by the state is undetermined, she said, noting the city usually gets $300,000.