The debt is not new to Haven House, as the city has long attempted to collect on the overdue bills. Anderson has asked for the shelter to receive the same considerations as the city-operated J.B. Ogle Animal Shelter. In previous years, the animal shelter had not received a sewer bill. The animal shelter has, and currently pays, a city sewer bill.
To help cover the shelter’s future payments Anderson said she plans to go to Jeffersonville’s Sewer Board and request a reduced rate.
“It’s a lot of money for a sewer bill,” Anderson said.
She explained that if the shelter’s water bill is about $500, the sewer bill comes in at about $1,000.
With Haven House in good financial graces, Julius thinks there is a better chance for support in having the reduced rate approved.
“I’m of the opinion if she had a zero balance and came in, it may look a little differently,” Julius said. “I think we can look at the rate for sure. I personally would be willing to look at a lower rate.”
Anderson is optimistic that the sewer board will be willing to entertain that option.
“I think there is room for dialogue,” she said.
Even if no rate change is considered for the shelter, Anderson believes the community will continue to support Haven House, which normally houses about 70 residents.
“I think this has raised awareness,” Anderson said. “The community has proven they support us. Hopefully, people will continue to give and we’ll get enough donations to continue to do it. The option is to close the shelter, and that is not an option for us.”
Regardless of the future sewer bills for Haven House, organizers around the effort said the outpouring of support has been tremendous.
“There are so many people who stepped up and helped with this its been just phenomenal,” Anderson said. “It is gratifying and humbling.”
She also thanked Julius and fellow Councilman Mike Smith for leadership they’ve shown on this.
Julius also credited the public.
“I thank the community for coming out and doing this,” Julius said. “We’re still taking money. I want to pay a little forward.”