In Crothersville, Ind., when residents receive their May bills, they may see increases in their water and sewer base rates.
According to Seymour Tribune, after the town’s current rates were studied by Steve Brock with Therber Brock and Associates LLC, it was recommended to raise the rates to cover operating costs and maintenance for the town’s facilities.
The proposed base rate for water is $21.85 for those with a 5/8- or 3/4-in. meter based on 2,500 gal, according to Seymour Tribune. The current rate is $21.69.
The proposed base rate for sewer is $13.38 for the same size meters and the current rate is $13.02. According to the Seymour Tribune, each of the next four years, the water rates would bump up 17 or 16 cents, while the sewer rates would go up 37 cents in 2020 and 2021, 39 cents in 2022 and 40 cents in 2023.
“When we get these raises, we’re still just going to be breaking even,” said Danieta Foster, Crothersville Town Council President, during a meeting earlier this month. “We don’t do [the increases] just for the fun of it. We pay for water bills, too. Remember, we’re not doing it just to get to you. We have to pay them, too.”
Communities that own and operate their sewer and water departments have to maintain infrastructure so it works efficiently and lasts long, according to Seymour Tribune. The time comes to repair or replace lines, pumps, lift stations and other resources, and those costs continue to rise.
According to the Tribune, the town has had a water rate increase each year since 2015, however, the sewer rate had not increased until a couple of years ago.
Water, sewer, stormwater and trash collection fees are combined into one monthly utility bill in Crothersville. According to the Tribune, water and sewer fees are based on the amount of gallons used, while trash is $10.50 and stormwater is $3 for residences.
In 2017, Brock told the town council increases were needed for water and sewer rates. According to the Tribune, members agreed to spread that out over five years instead of all at once.