TH sewage rate hike coming in July

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – If you’re a Terre Haute waste water customer, your sewer bill will go up in July.  The Mayor says customers will get good bang for their buck.

What we are talking about is $110 million worth of improvements to the Terre Haute sewage treatment plant.  To pay for it, Terre Hautians have endured some sewage rate hikes.  One more is coming in July, which will increase the average bill by $5.

“If we didn’t increase our rates and don’t do this project, then the EPA would begin to fine us,” said Mayor Duke Bennett, who also said this project is a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Here’s what your money is paying for:

First, the work done here will greatly reduce the smell that emits from this facility towards the mall and movie theaters.  Also, modern technology will help this plant move waste through the system more efficiently.  Right now, heavy rains cause sewage to overflow into the river.  This project will correct that as well.  Lastly, capacity at the plant will increase by 40%.

You may not know this, but a sewer plant, and more specifically its capacity, helps a city in terms of economic development.  In fact, the Mayor says this project will help Terre Haute attract more industry.  He couldn’t give specifics, but Mayor Bennett says right now a major industrial employer has Terre Haute in its final three for consideration.

“We probably wouldn’t have been a finalist had we not had what we have underway,” the Mayor said.

Still, the Mayor understands even with all of this good, no one wants to pay more, and he understands it is you who is footing the bill.  Still, if you think you sewer bill is high; the Mayor says that’s not the case when compared to other Hoosier cities and towns.

“We’ll still have one of the lowest bills in the state,” said the Mayor.

One final rate hike will come in July of 2015.  This will increase the average sewer bill an additional $5.  Mayor Bennett says this final increase will give the city enough revenue to complete its project, which will cost another $110-million over the next 15 years.  That money will be used to improve lines in the system.

 

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