City sets public hearing for tap-in fees, water rateJanuary 23, 2019
By CANDY NEAL
HUNTINGBURG — The City of Huntingburg is considering increasing the tap-in costs for connecting into the city’s electric and water systems, as well as increasing water rates to cover an increase the utility will soon pay to a water provider.
The Huntingburg Common Council introduced ordinances for the cost changes at its Tuesday evening meeting. A public hearing on the changes will be held next month.
Recommendations for electric tap-in fees for new installations are $200 for residential, $400 or $2 per amp for commercial and small industrial, whichever is greater; and $1,000 or $2 per amp for large industrial, whichever is greater.
Currently, the cost is $100 for a residential electric tap, though the department actually spends $257 to install the tap, Energy Superintendent John Reutepohler said previously. The cost for installing commercial and industrial electric taps varies, but the tap costs are $200 for commercial and small industrial, and $500 for large industrial; the department covers the rest of the installation cost, which also varies.
Water tap-in fees for new installations have also been suggested by Water Superintendent Gary Meyerholtz. He suggested that the fee for a 3/4-inch tap, which is the typical residential tap, be increased from $750 to $1,500; the cost to install it is $1,135.46. For a 1-inch, the tap-in fee should increase from $900 to $1,800; the installation cost is $1,466.82. The tap-in fee for a 1.5-inch should increase from $1,100 to $5,000; the installation cost is $4,541.25. The fee for a 2-inch tap should increase from $1,250 to $6,000; the cost to install the tap is $5,104.90. The increases would cover the costs of materials only; the fee does not cover the cost of labor, Meyerholtz reiterated Tuesday evening.
Meyerholtz also proposed a water rate tracker system be implemented for the water utility to pass along to customers the rate increase the utility will soon receive from the Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District.
A water rate study that was done recently showed rates should increase by 26 cents per 100 cubic feet of water, City Attorney Phil Schneider explained to the council. That increase should be implemented across the board by the rate tracker, he said.
The average household uses 500 to 600 cubic feet of water monthly. For a household using 500 cubic feet, the water bill will increase by $1.30, Meyerholtz said. A household using 600 cubic feet, the increase will be $1.56, he said.
A public hearing on the increases will be held by the city’s utility rate advisory board at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 in the council chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 508 E. Fourth St. The board will consider recommending the increases to the common council, which has the final say on the changes.
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