Council approved an ordinance in a close 8-5 vote that will allow the city to continue working with the EPA to solve Akron's long-standing CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) problems. The ordinance also includes an immediate water and sewer rate hike of nearly 40 percent for Akron residents, with another smaller increase slated for next year. "It's never easy voting for a rate increase, but sometimes it's necessary," said Council At Large Representative Jeff Fusco. The Integrated Plan will combine new construction, repairs and green practices, which could include permeable asphalt, grass retention basins and rain barrels. Those opposed to the ordinance said they supported the Integrated Plan approach, but were voting no because the rate increase would be too much of a burden on residents and because a final plan and price has yet to be determined. The majority who voted yes said that the rate increase was needed to create the final plan and to pay debt already incurred on sewer repairs over the past two years.
Feb. 3, 2014 from Akron City Council on Vimeo.