News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

October 28, 2012

FLASHPOINT: Rate structure unacceptable

This is an open letter to the Board of Sanitary Commissioners, the Terre Haute City Council, and all fellow residents who are connected to the Terre Haute Sewage system but are not in the city, or are not using the city water providers service.

In an article published Oct. 17 in this paper, notice of awarding of a contract to construct a new wastewater treatment plant, which as I understand is federally mandated, was explained.

This letter is to call to attention the extreme disparity of the rate structure proposed to pay for this new facility, to wit:

Rates, proposed to increase annually over a three-year period, would establish new minimum monthly charges for water customers of $17.50 a month up from $15.21, starting July 1, 2013. The amount would increase to $20.13 on July 1, 2014, and to $23.16 on July 1, 2015.

Rates for all non-commercial, non-industrial users with non-metered sources would pay $39.29 per month on July 1, 2013, up from $32.42. That flat rate would increase to $42.98 on July 1, 2014, and increase to $49.36 on July 1, 2015.

This proposed rate structure has me and my neighbors as well as all others who are “non-metered” customers who were mandated to join and pay user fees when the system was extended to our neighborhood, paying 113 percent more ($26.20) per month than metered customers. These rate decisions are made by well-intended persons, who I cannot vote for, or for those who appointed them as I am not a city resident.

To pay a premium for the same or less service is bad enough, but 113 percent penalty is totally unacceptable, and must be reconsidered. I understand this must be paid for, but why should I pay more than double because I do not have a meter, as I have no service at my address?

A public meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Nov. 7 at City Hall to discuss this matter before a vote on Nov. 8. Your input is needed.

— Bill Jaeger

Terre Haute

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