The LaGrange County Regional Utility District received a report Thursday evening on potential rate changes for the Shipshewana West Sewer District. The report detailed an adjusted recommended rate of $9.45 per month increase for users in the district.
The district board was told that a large portion of the increase is due to a drop in the EDU (Equivalent Domestic Unit) compared to what was calculated at the start of the project.
The explanation for the change in EDUs was due to changes in state law that reduced the youth camp EDU from 0.267 to 0.125 and changing the Michiana Church Camp from a flat rate to a metered rate.
According to the report received Thursday, of the $9.45 proposed increase, $4.32 is attributed to the church camp change, $2.34 to the youth camp EDU change, $0.72 to the increase being instituted by the Town of Shipshewana, $0.38 for inflationary impact on operating costs, and $1.69 due to capital, replacements and required coverage.
The increase will not take effect all at once, but will be broken into two phases. The first will be as soon as the process can be completed and the second phase after the first of the year.
The district board is also considering incorporating the connection charges to the ordinance, which will set fees for those who connect to the system in upcoming years. The district capped the amount of the connection fee, which increases yearly, at 15 years from the start of the project in each district.
The district is also checking its contract with the Town of Shipshewana on how it will handle connection fees for the town.
The district board is expected to call for a special meeting to discuss the proposed rate changes and begin the process, which will include publication of the ordinance and a public hearing prior to passage.
In other business:
The board voted to proceed with litigation against two additional property owners in the Shipshewana West District who have not hooked up to the system by the end of the extension given to them earlier.
In Region A, the board discussed a request to cap a line that currently runs into a barn and reconnect the line for a new home being built with no connection charge applied.
In Region B, the board requested an itemized list of costs for a property owner who discovered that they had been paying the monthly fee on property that had not been connected as required by the previous landowner. The board will consider action on the request for reimbursement at the next meeting once the list is received.