The Chesterton Town Council will hold a public hearing at its next meeting
on a proposed sanitary sewer rate hike of just under 6 percent.
At its meeting Monday night, the council voted 5-0 to hold a public hearing
at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Note: the council is meeting on the second Tuesday of the month—not its
regular day, the second Monday—because that Monday falls on Veterans Day, a
federal holiday observed by the town.
As the Chesterton Tribune reported last week, under the proposed rate
hike, the average residential household using 10,000 gallons of water per
month would see its bimonthly bill rise from $76.80 to $81.26: a hike of
$4.46 or $2.23 per month or 5.81 percent.
If the council approves the proposed increase, it would go into effect on
Jan. 1, 2013.
Representatives of the Utility Service Board will be on hand at the public
hearing to make the case for the rate hike, which they say is needed to pay
for the long term control plan mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency—and administered by the Indiana Department of Environmental
Management—under which the Utility is required to build a 1.2-million gallon
storage tank to hold stormwater during heavy rain events. The estimated cost
of that tank and associated upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant:
The Service Board is currently seeking to finance that project through a
loan from the State Revolving Fund.
The most recent sanitary sewer hike went into effect on April 1, 2011: one
of 2 percent, enacted to offset the costs of maintaining the town’s
Two years before that, on Jan. 1, 2009, a 14-percent rate hike went into
effect, to support the 2009 bond issue floated to finance a package of
infrastructure projects and equipment acquisitions.
Under the currently proposed rate increase, outside users—the Town of Porter
and the Indian Boundary Conservancy District—would also see their rate
increase: by 16 percent, exactly the same percentage hike which would be
assessed to Chesterton rate-payers, for the treatment portion of
their bill. When all components of the Chesterton rate-payers’ bill are
calculated, however, the overall hike would be around 6 percent.