Hamilton County Commissioners have approved a 5-percent rate increase for Metropolitan Sewer District customers starting January 9. Sewer rates have been climbing for several years to pay for a $ 3.2 billion system upgrade required to comply with the federal Clean Water Act.
Commissioner Todd Portune said about 780 other local governments are in the same position at a cost of more than $500 billion.
Following up on the first of several public budget hearings, Hamilton County Commission President Greg Hartmann says he doesn't foresee wage increases for county workers.
"In our administrator's recommended budget there is discussion about giving raises to employees. As much as I would like to sit here today and say we can do that, I don't think it's consistent with where we are as a county and where this budget is," he says.