TARTA funding plan, monthly water bills, money for pre-k fundraising

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TOLEDO - (WTVG) - Three big issues received attention from Toledo City Council, Tuesday.

Monthly water bills and TARTA funding got unanimous votes. But the mayor's Universal pre-K plan was the focus of debate.

During his campaign, the mayor ran on creating a program that did not use tax dollars.

But his administration now wants $35,000 tax dollars to pay a consultant to raise money for the Universal pre-k program.

Councilman Tom Waniewski wanted more details on what taxpayers were getting for that money.

Councilwoman Cecelia Adams had another concern, saying, "I don't see why this isn't something that could be done without a consultant."

But in the end... the administration got the money.

The mayor's legislative director, Gretchen DeBacker says, "We believe it's an important step to ensuring that we're getting as much support from the private sector as we possibly can to get this program implemented."

Council also approved TARTA's plan to ask voters to approve a sales tax increase to pay for public transportation.

Right now, funding comes from property taxes. But all seven TARTA communities must approve before the sales tax idea hits the ballot.

And there's a change coming to your water bill. Instead of paying four times a year, you will be charged monthly. That could help now that water rates are jumping.

Councilman Peter Uvjagi say, "It's much more convenient to pay your water or sewer bill on a monthly basis than every three months for some people that's a pretty big hit."

The city announced it will begin monthly billing in January, 2020.

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