TH Councilman offers compromise on proposed sewer rate increase

city council 721

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Terre Haute City Councilman Earl Elliott, an accountant by trade, says he’s researched the city’s financial picture extensively since he was elected to the council, as well as his time served at the council’s financial consultant. He believes a proposal he reached will meet the city’s financial needs while charging sewer utility rate payers as little as possible.

Mayor Duke Bennett’s original sewer rate hike proposal comes in at 33%, which would raise a typical bill by $12 each month. Elliott proposes an 18% increase rolled out in two phases.  He recommends an immediate 6% increase to help the city’s waste water utility meet its financial obligations in 2017.  Elliott says an additional 12% will be needed to help the utility meet its needs in 2018.

He said this allows rate payers “a chance to plan and budget,” Elliott said.

Mayor Bennett and Elliott sent his proposal to the city’s financial consultants, who are currently reviewing it. A response should come early next week, as the council should pass the city’s 2017 budget on Thursday.  Elliott’s plan also reduces the PILOT fee from $5.1 million to $4.4 million.  He says where PILOT is set will drastically affect the budget process.