Sewer Prices Going Up for the Next 5 Years


Published 07/14 2014 10:26PM

Updated 07/15 2014 08:23AM

The Summit City is under a Federal Court order to greatly reduce the amount of sewage going into our rivers. In a meeting Monday officials explained the construction project and timeline for these improvements and people at the meeting had a lot of questions.

 At Northrop High School, Fort Wayne city officials explained the clean water mandate, Rodney Vargo, a former Utilities Advisor, said he understands that this is just something residents have to deal with.

“If we don’t do it, they will step in and do it for us and it will be much more expensive for us. It’s been decided in Washington this is going to have to get done, the EPA doesn’t care, and this is going to happen," said Vargo.

This aggressive schedule of improvements will span an 18 year period. The tunnel that will be built underground is five miles long and will last for 75-100 years. Engineers said the tunnel will carry storm water as well as sewage water.

Abigail King, Vice President of Save Maumee Grassroots Organization said previous planning could have prevented this from happening all at once.

"The plan is to stop discharging into the sewers and I look forward to what the city has planned in addition to the federal mandate," said King.

During the meeting, engineers explained exactly how much residents will see their bills increase. Beginning in 2015, your bill will go up, a little over 3 dollars, and for 5 years, you'll see an additional three dollars added each year, so at the end of the 5 year period, residents will end up paying $17.44 more each month.

"Other communities in Indiana that are being hit but his have far higher rate increases per capita than we do," said Vargo.

King stressed that even if the price goes up clean water is an important resource. King stated, "I think that the worth of water is extremely valuable and as resources become its guns and butter."

A worry from residents is what if the tunnel overflows, and engineers said the tunnel is on a grade so if it does overflow it will be released towards the treatment plant away from the neighborhoods.

There are two open house events planned to answer any questions which will be held July 15th from 6pm-8pm at the Waynedale Library and one on July 17th from 5pm-7pm at the Tecumseh Library.

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