News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

September 26, 2013

Summer sewer bill discount offered by city

1990 ordinance designed for those with pools

TERRE HAUTE — If you like to water your lawn in Terre Haute, you can get a discount on your sewer bill during one month each summer.

A little-known section of city code allows residents to get a one-time deduction on their sewer bills each summer season.

The ordinance, originally designed to give a break to folks with swimming pools, was passed in 1990. Sewer bills are calculated based on water usage because it is assumed most of your water ends up in the sewer system. But, because water used for watering lawns or in pools often remains out of the sewer system, the city set up the discount.

To qualify for the discount, send a letter asking for the “Summer Water Use Allowance” to City Hall, Sewage Billing, Room 209, 17 Harding Ave., Terre Haute, IN 47807, said Leslie Ellis, city controller, who manages the discount for the city. You need only supply your name and address with the request, Ellis said.

The allowance is calculated using a somewhat complicated formula plugging in your past water usage figures. Basically, the controller determines your lowest monthly water usage and then adds 30 percent to get “the normal summertime usage,” according to the city ordinance.

Then the controller finds your highest water usage from the previous year. The difference between the two figures is your summer allowance, which is then applied to a single month’s bill the following year, as determined by the controller.

In no case can your summer allowance drop your sewage disposal bill below the minimum monthly bill amount, which is currently $17.50. The allowance also must be calculated based on actual meter readings, not estimates, the ordinance states.

Beginning last December, the city took over responsibility for sewage billing from Indiana-American Water Co., which chose to get out of the billing business. City officials hired TPI Billing Solutions, a Tulsa, Okla.-based company, to manage the billing.

During Tuesday night’s City Council budget hearings, Councilman John Mullican, D-6th, asked Brad Speidel, the city’s information technology director, how the new billing system is working.

“Always getting better,” Speidel said, noting that Indiana-American Water Co. continues to provide water usage figures on which sewer bills are based. The utility recently underwent a large “data conversion” that – unintentionally – resulted in the loss of some apartment numbers, leading to billing complications for some landlords, Speidel told the council. Indiana-American is addressing the problem and “it’s getting better, it really is,” he said.

Mullican and Council President Norm Loudermilk asked Speidel to seek a report from TPI detailing several points, including how much money it is collecting, how many calls from Terre Haute customers it is receiving and the average wait-time for calls. Mullican also asked whether TPI can advise a good time of day for customers to call with questions that will avoid long waits.

Mullican had already requested such information from TPI, he said.

About 25,000 customers use Indiana-American Water and also use the city’s sanitary sewer system. About 3,000 well-water customers and 1,500 Seelyville water customers are also billed through TPI, according to 2012 figures provided by the city.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel
NDN Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News