Water bills set to rise 2.55 percent


Indiana American Water customers can expect to see a penny a day more on their monthly water bills.

That’s because the water company filed a rate request last year and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission recently approved a rate increase agreement with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.

“We believe the order provides a fair resolution in the case,” said Anthony Swinger, director of external affairs of Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor. “Indiana American Water had asked for an overall revenue increase of about 9.8 percent, and we were able to negotiate that to 2.55 percent.”

That means, for the 7,551 water connections in Seymour, which includes residences and businesses of about 20,000 people, bills are expected to increase by 0.73 cents, or less than a penny, per day, according to Joe Loughmiller, external affairs manager for Indiana American Water.

Loughmiller said this is an increase of 26 cents per month, making the average bill (for a user of 4,600 gallons per month) $35.87 instead of $35.61,

Before the agreement, Seymour customers were expected to pay an extra $2.40 a month on their bills.

Rate negotiations between the state utility consumer counselor and Indiana American Water brought that down to 26 cents.

“We met somewhere in between,” Loughmiller said of the parties involved.

The increase will go toward the company’s $220 million investments in its water and wastewater systems across the state, according to a news release.

Loughmiller said from July 1, 2011, to Nov. 30, 2015, the company will have invested nearly $5.6 million in Seymour’s district, including improvements in infrastructure such as fixing worn water systems that are 50 to 100 years old.

Total investments include:

More than $2.3 million to replace and relocate water mains and fire hydrants

$1.9 million in improvements to pumping treatment, storage and office facilities

$1.3 million to install 3,000 water meters and service lines

Alan Deboy, president of Indiana American Water, said the final decision was both “reasonable” and “fair.” He said in a news release he appreciates the cooperation between all parties to reach a negotiated settlement.

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