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Brownstown Jail Sewer Bill Still Not Paid

Last updated on Monday, February 6, 2012

(BROWNSTOWN) - The town’s efforts to collect at least six years of unpaid sewer bills owed by the county for service provided to the jail and juvenile detention center has hit another snag.

Town attorney Joe Markel delivered that message to councilmen during their meeting Wednesday evening at town hall.

There is conflicting evidence on where the town corporate line is and that can determine whether the county pays in-town rates or out-of-town rates, Markel said. Sewer utility customers outside town limits pay one and a half times the rate paid by those inside town limits.

On Sept. 8, 2011, the county received a $33,214.31 sewer bill for service at the jail and juvenile center, which is just east of town off Indiana 250. It was the first bill the county had received from the town since the jail and juvenile center opened in 2000. That bill was paid.

Town Clerk-Treasurer David Willey later said the town had not been billing the county for the service because it had not been receiving a water bill from Jackson County Water Utility Inc. The town bases sewer bills on water usage.

After discovering the county was not being billed, the town asked the water company for water usage records for the center, and the water company came up with those numbers back to 2004.

Willey said the town later discovered it had made a calculation error, and that's why a second bill asking the county for $197,717.67 was sent.

County council members and commissioners have since agreed the bill needs to be paid, and county attorney Susan Bevers has been working with Markel to resolve the issue.

Markel said until the issue of whether the jail and juvenile center is inside city limits is worked out, it's going to be hard to get anything settled.

Markel said he plans to meet with county Surveyor Jerry Tracey in an effort to determine if the jail and juvenile center is within town limits.

Once that is determined, the county plans to work out a way of paying the bill with the town.

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