PANDORA — During last Tuesday’s meeting of the Pandora Village Council, utility rate hikes were approved for village residents. Council approved the third and final reading of of a resolution increasing water and sewer rates, with new rates effective with the September billing due by Oct 15.

The measure will increase the water base to $18 and usage at $2.48 per 1,000 gallons over 100,000; $4.95 per 1,000 gallons from 50,000 to 100,000 gallons; and $8.25 per 1,000 gallons up to 50,000 gallons. It will increase the sewer base to $15.50 and usage at $4.33 per 1,000 gallons over 10,000 gallons; $6.50 per 1,000 gallons up to 10,000 gallons.

Fiscal Officer Kim Reese will send notices to all residents and landlords in the village explaining the measure and the process regarding delinquent water bills before shutting the service off. All water bills for village water consumers are due by the 15th of the month. A late fee is applied, and the resident will receive a disconnect notice on the last business day of the month for their current bill. The day of the turnoff, staff will post a shutoff order on the person’s door explaining their water will be turned off unless the balance is paid. Staff will not turn on the water accounts after business hours.

Council also approved staying with the current health insurance plan for village employees at an increase of 1.03 percent. Adam Cupp of UIS Insurance and Investments, was present to discuss the new rates which takes effect Oct. 1. Village employees have the month of September to make any changes in their plans.

Last year, the increase in rates was only 0.06 percent, while the year before it was a 2.3 percent increase. The village saw an increase of seven percent the prior year and the year before that, it was 8.96 percent.

“The renewals have been nothing short of spectacular,” Cupp said.

Cupp, who has worked with the village on its health plan since 2007, said since the March 23, 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, better-known as Obamacare, all insurance plans must comply fully with its provisions. Plans with no changes after the law was passed were “grandfathered” in. The village plan is with Medical Mutual of Ohio, the only company in Ohio with grandfathered plans.

The village plan does have high deductibles of $3,000 per person and $6,000 per family, but the village pays the insurance premium. Council also approved giving $2,000 per employee to be put into a Health Savings Account that can be used to pay medical costs. Once the money is put in the account, it is the employees’ and can be carried through into the next year.

In other business, council approved payment of $25,509.25 as the seventh payment the restroom project at the community center.

The next regular Pandora Village Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28, in the village offices.