The Shipshewana Town Council approved new sewer and storm water rates that will begin later this summer.
The council held a public hearing Thursday evening prior to passing the ordinance, which instituted a 7.69 percent increase in sewer rates and an expanded table for storm water rates. During the public hearing the council confirmed that the new sewer rate will be based on actual water usage and not off the minimum 3,000-gallon billing amount charged for water.
The board was told that the increase will allow the town to continue to pay as they make improvements to the system, as opposed to needing to finance for upgrades. The town last saw an increase in sewer rates in 1999.
The increase will mean an additional $2.39 per month for a residential bill of 5,000 gallons. Those homes using 3,000 gallons per month will see an increase of $1.59.
Shipshewana added the Shipshewana Lake area to its system last year. Those residents will also see the same percentage increase in their billing.
The town also looked at the storm water rates, which took one billing classification and split it into four categories, based on lot size. The smallest size, under two acres, will continue to be billed $8 per month. However, the three new classes of 2.01-3 acres, 3.01-5 acres and over 5 acres, will now be billed at $12, $16 and $44 respectively. Commercial and industrial lots of over 5 acres will be billed $64.
The storm water rate changes will start July 1 and will be on the August bill. The new sewer rates will begin August 1 and will appear on the September bill.
In other business:
The council approved sending out for bids for the North Street improvements. The engineering estimate was given at $128,970, with $6,800 of that dedicated to work to be done specifically at the intersection of North St. and Morton St. The advertisement for bids could be out as early as the end of this week, with bid opening expected in July. Work on the street could begin as early as late July or early August.
The board approved purchasing two lift station pumps at a cost of $9,234. The extra pumps will give the town the ability to pull pumps and repair as needed.
The council approved a pay request from Square 1 Buildings for $94,406 for work done on the Morton St. extension project that is continuing.
The council also approved a not to exceed amount of $14,250 for street assessment work by DLZ Engineering.