(BEDFORD) - The City of Bedford's water and sewer systems is horribly outdated and on the brink of collapse, so Tuesday night the Bedford City Council voted to raise the water, sewer rates to address essential infrastructure issues.
They also approved adding a new storm water rate.
All the council members agreed it was not an easy decision and not a popular one, but was necessary.
Officials at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management issued the city a violation letter in February.
Mayor Shawna Girgis says IDEM expects a plan to rectify the problem by March. And the first step to do that is increase rates.
According to the water rate study: a resident that currently uses 5,000 gallons of water is charged $22.59 a month, after the increase they will be charged $29.83, a $7.24 increase.
According to the sewer rate study: a resident that dumps 5,000 gallons of sewer currently pays $32.69 a month, after the increase they will be charged $42.81, a $10.12 increase.
Residents will be charged a $5 stormwater rate for one ERU per month.
Corporations will be charged per ERU. One ERU equals 3,000 square feet. ERUs for all other customers will be based on the total amount of square footage of the parcel divided by 3,000 square feet
Businesses will be charged a maximum of $250 a month regardless of the number of ERUs because Girgis wants to attract and keep business in the county.
Residents will see the water and sewer increases on their November bill. The storm sewer charge will not appear on the bill until January.
In other business:
* The council approved a request by Ronald James Bortner and Joseph and Marilyn Records to vacate a street located on O Street south of 23rd Street.\
* The council approved re-naming Plaza Drive North to Becky Skillman Way.
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