Cincinnati Council
5:04 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Water rate hike & bike share program approved

Credit Michael Keating

Cincinnati Council is saying 'yes' to bike sharing and 'no' to a 7.5 percent water rate hike.

Council agreed to raise water rates for Greater Cincinnati Water Works customers but only by four percent, under a compromise authored by Vice Mayor David Mann.

Council member Yvette Simpson opposed the compromise saying four percent now will only lead to an even bigger increase next year.

Fellow Council member Wendell Young says if that's the case next year, he'll vote "no." But he says a "yes" vote now sends a signal to the leadership at Water Works.

"There's no can for us to kick down the road so we have to get inventive about making better use of this resource," says Young. "The message is clear, you can't keep beating up the taxpayer with these increases and we've got to maintain the system. We've got to find a better way."

After a spirited back and forth about whether to separate a bike share program from funding for several bike trails, council approved the program, and delayed a decision on the trail dollars.

They also gave the nod to a proposal by Council member Christopher Smitherman. He wants to reduce the overall compensation for the city's pension fund manager and advisors by $2 million.