In a press release issued Monday afternoon (Aug. 26), City of Bloomington Utilities announced it is requesting a rate increase for sewer customers. According to the press release, the 3-percent proposed rate increase for a customer inside the city works out to 72 cents more per month. For an average customer outside the city the 15-percent increase works out to $3.60 more per month.
According to Monday’s press release, Indiana state law allows municipally-owned sewer utilities to charge different rates for customers inside and outside the city limits, based on higher costs of service. For more rural development, there are more lift stations per mile of pipe, according to the city’s statement.
The Bloomington Utilities Service Board’s finance subcommittee is supposed to review the proposed changes on Aug. 26, and the full board will consider the subcommittee recommendations on Sept. 3, according to Monday’s press release.
If the full board approves the higher rates, Bloomington’s city council will consider the rate increases for an initial reading on Sept. 4, followed by a vote on Sept. 18.
The press release says that in late 2016 the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) directed City of Bloomington Utilities to increase plant capacity at the Dillman Road wastewater treatment plant based on expected future demand. The proposed rate increase will generate $30 million from rate payers over the next five years to increase Dillman’s capacity and to modernize both the Dillman and Blucher Poole plants, according to the press release.
Mayor John Hamilton is quoted in the city’s statement saying, “As Bloomington grows, it is our responsibility to maintain and improve our infrastructure. We are at a critical juncture with our water utility to make changes that will conserve natural resources and support future generations of Bloomingtonians.”