Springfield Township supervisors Tuesday night adopted the 2020 budget, which includes a sewer rate increase.
Dave Swartz and Tim Stiffy passed the resolution with no discussion. Supervisor Rick Dillaman was absent.
During public comment at the beginning of the meeting, two attendees asked supervisors to reconsider the sewer rate hike.
There are other options the township can look into – like grants – and commercial properties already pay so many fees, said Lonnie Burghardt, a hospitality consultant who works with some of the hotels in Springfield.
There haven’t been many new businesses coming in lately; hotel occupancy is dropping, he added.
“The pie’s just getting smaller,” he said.
Ed Kelly, whose family owns TimberCreek Tap and Table and the new Krave Craft Kitchen + Cocktails – both located in the township – agreed with Burghardt.
He has businesses in three other municipalities and said that Springfield is the most expensive when it comes to maintaining a restaurant.
“Enough is enough,” he said.
Swartz said he heard that sewage rates are going up in Youngstown – a 4 percent increase per year over the next five years.
“We’re not the only ones struggling to keep our sewer bills paid,” he said.
Township officials have said that the monthly flat fee for residential and commercial sewage customers will increase by $2 per equivalent dwelling unit.
That funding will help cover maintenance and system operations, and the gravity sewer project, they said.
Property taxes will stay the same in 2020. The budget totals $821,186.
Real estate taxes are 7 mills, and the fire service tax is 1.5 mills.
Also next year, the township will be making improvements to Old Mercer Road.