News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 4, 2012

Seelyville looks at water cost increases

Price changes will only impact new customers

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Seelyville town officials are scheduled to conduct a public hearing next week on a proposed ordinance that would increase connection charges and establish new connection categories for new water customers.

The public hearing is scheduled at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 in the Town Hall on Seelyville’s Main Street.

The higher fees do not impact existing customers already connected to the Seelyville water system, nor will it impact monthly water rates for existing customers, said Brent S. Spier, Seelyville town manager.

The town last raised fees or rates on its water system in 2002, Spier said.

The Seelyville Town Council in November revisited its fee structure, as about 230 residents in Nevins Township will be added to the town’s water system. If approved by the town council after the public hearing, the new connection charges would take effect Jan. 1.

The Seelyville water system would have about 2,600 customers if the Nevins Township customers are added, Spier said. The system services subdivisions on Terre Haute’s east side and the Indiana Air National Guard 181st Intelligence Wing adjacent to the Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field.

Currently the town has one connection charge of $650 for a 3/4-inch meter and $850 for 1-inch meter. Six new categories of charges will be established to pay for costs of materials, labor, excavating, tapping onto the town’s water main, installing pipe and installing a meter pit and meter, Spier said.

The new categories include a “short tap” 3/4-inch meter for a service line on the same side of the road as a water main at $1,500; a “long tap” 3/4-inch meter for service line on the opposite side of a main requiring boring at $2,100; a “road tap” 3/4-inch meter requiring a road cut to get to a water service line at $2,200.

Also, three categories for 1-inch meter: short tap at $1,800, long tap at $2,400 and road tap at $2,500.

Those new categories would cover about 95 percent of connections to the water system. Connections for larger sizes, such as 2-inch meter or larger,  would be handled on a case-by-case basis on materials and labor costs, Spier said.

The proposed ordinance also establishes a reconnection charge for normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at $35 and an after-hours or weekend reconnection charge at $70.

n In a related issue, the east side of Seelyville’s water system was shut down from about 5 p.m. Friday until about 9 a.m. Saturday after a water main steel fitting blew apart for a connection between a 12-inch and 8-inch water main in front of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Spier said.

“Unfortunately it is not an item that we stocked. We had to locate one and had to have a crew work on it,” Spier said. “We got it buttoned back up together and we re-energized that section of the system and brought everything back online and everything was repressurized.

“Since we isolated that section of the system, and it is right next to a hydrant, we could pull water through there and maintain the system integrity, so no boil order was required,” Spier said.

Rose-Hulman is the water system’s largest single customer. The water closure also impacted subdivisions on the east side of Terre Haute serviced by Seelyville water, such as Robinwood, Phoenix Hills, Woodridge, Deming Woods and Lincolnshire/Woodshire.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@