Your Sewer Bill Could Soon Be Going Up!


Published 06/24 2014 02:32PM

Updated 06/24 2014 03:12PM

Fort Wayne City Utilities announced that they are going to ask the City Council for an increase to the sewage portion of your water bill.  Why do they need the increase and how much is it going to cost you?

After a long rain, there are many people in Fort Wayne that deal with sewage backups coming into their house.

"You're dealing with smell, you're dealing with feces.  Ya know, urine and feces, that's what you're dealing with.  It's not good at all."

Two months ago, Danny Shipley said his basement was filled with 2 feet of sewer water.

"It's nothing that we did anything wrong, ya know, it shouldn't be our cost, it shouldn't be our fault."

In 2007, the city was mandated by the Federal Government to clean up area rivers by reducing sewer overflows.  In the past 5 years, the city has completed neighborhood sewer separation projects that has protected over 6,500 homes from basement backups and street flooding.  Now, to continue meeting government regulations, City Utilities needs more money to complete the project.

Director of City Utilities Kumar Menon says a rate increase is their only option.

"There is no other source of revenue to the utility, other than user rates and what people need to remember is 100% of our rates go back into the coffers.  100% of our rates goes back into the system."

So how much will that cost the average customer?
$3.44 a month but what does that look like?

In 2015 the bill will increase $3.78 a month.
In 2016, rates will increase another $2.85 a month.
2017 will see an increase of $3.33 a month.
2018 will be an additional $3.59 a month.
2019 will add $3.66 to your monthly bill.

So by 2019, your bill will have gone up $17.21 over the next 5 years.

Mark Thompson lives on a street that the city fixed years ago and says he'll gladly pay the additional funds to help others.

"Having had water backups in my own house at different times for different reasons, I know it's a horrible thing, so I hope that they wouldn't have to go through that."

On June 30th there is a community meeting in the Omni Room at 6:30pm and there will be a public hearing at the July 22nd City Council meeting.

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