HUNTINGTON, Ind. (21Alive) – Residents express their opinion on a proposed water rate hike of 40 percent.
Officials with the City of Huntington are proposing raising the water rates by 40 percent. They say the proposed rate hike will help pay for the latest $16.5 million installment to their “Long Term Control Plan". It’s all part of a federal mandate that orders cities like Huntington to install a tank that will collect and treat combined sewer overflow.
According to a representative in the city’s Engineering Department, the average household uses 4,000 gals. of water per month, and pays a rate of $32.58 per month.
With the proposed rate hike, the average user would have to pay $13 more dollars a month, making their monthly bill go up to $45.61 per month.
Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters says he’s not happy about having to pay more for the service, but the original cost of the plan was $26 million. He says after making some cuts the were able to drive the cost down to $16.5 million. Fetters says he would hate to see what the proposed rate hike would be if they hadn’t cut the cost of the project.
“EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and IDEM (Indiana Department of Environmental Management) have said this is what needs to be done. We're in good company with hundreds of other cities around the country. And we're going to do it, and we're not going to do it in a way that is careless because this has an impact on every citizen living in the city,” said Fetters.
Huntington City Council is set to make a final decision at their meeting on Nov. 26. If approved, that rate will kick in at the beginning of the year.
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