SELLERSBURG — The Sellersburg Town Council has introduced an ordinance that could more than double water rates in the town.
No official vote was taken Monday and the council plans to host a public hearing before it moves forward with a plan to increase its rates. But the council did decide to move forward on the more expensive of two options presented in a draft plan water rate study presented by Indianapolis-based Umbaugh and Associates in November.
“Council members now have a working document,” said Town Council President Paul Rhodes. “We went with the higher rate, just to ensure we have the economic security we haven’t had in the water plant.”
The town has been seeking a bond to pay for $5 million worth of improvements to the town’s water system. Among the improvements are the drilling of two new supply wells, construction of a new booster station, a new 500,000-gallon water storage tank and the refurbishing of two of the town’s existing water tanks.
Rhodes said the goal with rate increase is not only to cover the cost for the bonds, but to eventually create a self-sustaining water utility.
The rate introduced in ordinance 2013-001 would raise monthly rates for town residents, based on 5,000 gallons of water usage, from $13.25 to $27.
Fire protection charges would also increase as well as the hydrant charge — per equivalent meter size — to $5.37 per month.
Several steps will have to be completed before the rate changes go into effect.
“The next thing we’re going to do is have a public hearing on water rates,” Rhodes said.
He said a date for the public hearing has not been set, but the council hopes to have it complete and the ordinance back before the council at its Feb. 11 meeting in order to vote on it.