SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio -- Some Shaker Heights residents began paying more for their sewer service this year -- though the increase was never voted on, nor were notices sent out to the public.
The Cleveland Water Department used to bill quarterly, with a $10.50 minimum charged Shaker Heights' residents for use of Shaker's sanitary and storm sewers. When Cleveland this year switched its billing cycle to monthly, Shaker Heights decided that the $10.50 minimum would be charged each month.
Shaker Heights Mayor Earl Leiken said the increase is justified because the city subsidizes its sewer system from its general fund. Shaker Heights paid $842,000 toward sewer services last year, including $225,000 to Cleveland for billing services. The east side suburb has some of the highest property and income taxes in Ohio.
Leiken said Shaker Heights City Council's safety and public works committee, which includes council members and citizen representatives, reviewed the change during a public meeting without objection. But the issue was never put to a full council vote.
"We felt the need to notify the council members," Leiken said.
Leiken later said the city made a mistake and "should have made absolutely certain that people got notified." He said such notices will now be going out.
Leiken said he did not know the percentage of Shaker residents that currently pay the minimum.
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