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4/30/2019 - City Council approves new Water Rate Ordinance
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The Greensburg City Council held a public hearing Monday evening regarding Ordinance 2019-11 amending rates and charges for the waterworks of the city. The Ordinance was introduced at a meeting of the council on April 1st, 2019. Andre Riley of Baker Tilly provided an overview of the financing that will come from the Indiana State Revolving Fund (SRF).
The State applies to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency annually for capitalization grants to fund its SRF Programs. To increase available funds, the State leverages its U.S. EPA capitalization grants in the municipal bond market. These funds are combined with the U.S. EPA required State match and are then made available to Indiana communities in the form of low-interest-rate loans. Mr. Riley noted that current interest rates through the SRF are 3.5 percent, but could change prior to closing projected for the first week of June. The total estimated project costs are $24,817,625. The maximum approved in the revenue bond issue is $22,715,000. The schedule of estimated project costs and funding includes $1,151,027 from the improvement fund and $951,598 from Honda TIF construction proceeds, with $1,792,325 already spent for areas to include land acquisition and some of the engineering costs. As a result, the project will be fully funded.
Mr. Riley noted that the Decatur County Redevelopment Commission has agreed to provide $500,000 per year in Honda TIF funds for the project from 2019-2021. The Greensburg Redevelopment Commission has committed $500,000 per year from Honda TIF funds from 2022 through completion of repayment. The Greensburg RDC funds will begin in 2022 as current sewer bonds are paid in full.
Mr. Riley then reviewed the summary of rate adjustments and resulting average monthly bills. It was noted that the increase is for water only. The average residential bill, based on 533 cubic feet, is currently $24.52 per month. With the TIF contributions, the average bill would increase $3.24 (13 percent) for a total of $27.76. In January 2020, the average bill will increase an additional $2.86 (10 percent) for a total of $30.62. In January 2021, rates would increase an additional $2.07 (7 percent) for a total of $32.69. A rate analysis will take place every 3 years during the repayment period.
When the floor was opened for the public to speak, Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Rick Denney answered concerns from a few community members regarding improved water quality. A question was also asked regarding whether consideration was given to when the contract expires with Rural Water. It was stated that the contract has about 20 years left.
The public hearing was concluded and the council then entered into special session and approved the 2nd and final reading of Ordinance 2019-11, establishing the new water rates. The special session was adjourned.
The next council meeting is scheduled for May 6th at 7:00 pm at Greensburg City Hall.
Tom Flemming-WTRE News
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