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Council committee votes down water rate hike

UPDATE: The budget and finance committee voted down the proposed increase. However, full council is expected to take up the issue at another time.


CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- Your money and the public services you receive are on the table at Cincinnati City Hall this afternoon.  

The price of water you use might be going up. City council is expected to vote on a proposed water rate hike, although council is likely going to lower the proposed seven and a half percent increase.

Water Works has its own fund. The other key part of the budget is the general fund.
That's the budget for police, fire, snow removal, pot hole repair,  among other similar things. Mayor John Cranley campaigned on a back-to-basics platform, and the budget which will likely pass incorporates the mayor's priorities. Those are hiring more cops, more firefighters, and paving more streets.

So how do you pay for more? You have to cut other things.  The budget includes an average of 4.4 percent in cuts from city departments.  General fund total, 357 million dollars.

There is a potential sticking point. There's a lawsuit under way challenging the city's use of some neighborhood development dollars to balance the budget. The city wants to delay payment for those projects, but if the city loses the suit and has to pay now, it could throw the carefully crafted budget into a lot of turmoil.

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