Ferdinand water rates to increase


Ferdinand water customers will soon see their water rates increase.

The town council approved an ordinance Tuesday to raise the town’s water rates $1.50 per every 1,000 gallons of water used. The average customer in Ferdinand uses about 4,000 gallons of water monthly, equaling a $6 increase. The monthly charge for 4,000 gallons would be $47.26.

“We all take these rate increases seriously,” Councilmember Ron Weyer said, “but it’s not just the cost of water, it’s the infrastructure that we have to provide to get the water to the customer. We’ve got new pipes to lay, we’ve got water tower maintenance. We’re not doing this to make a whole bunch of money, we’re just trying to keep the water department going.”

The rate increase will be effective the next full billing cycle. Utility bills in Ferdinand are due on the 10th of each month.

The water rate in Ferdinand last increased in early 2019. The rate is increasing for Ferdinand and some other area communities because the Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District, which sells water to Ferdinand, is also increasing its rate. Clerk-Treasurer Tammy Miller conducted a water study over the past few months to make sure the rate increase is necessary and reasonable for customers.

The ordinance passed but redacted a portion concerning wholesale retailers. A member of St. Henry Water Corporation brought up concerns about the rate increase at the town council meeting. The council will discuss with the corporation and come back to the June meeting with a proposal regarding wholesale rates.

The council also:

• Modified the town’s COVID-19 emergency order so that masks are no longer required at government meetings or in government buildings for those who have been fully vaccinated.

• Gave the water and wastewater department permission to seek quotes for a new utility truck.

• Heard from Town Council President Ken Sicard that the town received the Community Crossings matching grant that it applied for earlier this year. The grant will provide $281,232,43, and the town will cover $93,744.19 for a street project.

• Approved a salary ordinance for the hiring of two water and wastewater department employees.

• Approved a Kerstiens Development Inc. performance bond for the Hidden Meadows Subdivision construction project. The significant amount is $781,750, which will cover the cost for the grating, sanitary sewers, stormwater underground retention, waterline installation and street construction.

• Approved Town Attorney Sharon Bohnenkemper to attend a virtual municipal law seminar for $150.

• Approved the 2021 Heimatfest 5k route, which will be the same as previous years. It will take place June 19 from 8-10 a.m.

• Approved the hiring of two park and recreation summer employees.

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