Sewer rates for Winamac Municipal Utilities customers will go up soon. The Winamac Town Council on Monday approved a rate increase to offset what Eric Walsh with accounting firm Umbaugh and Associates says is a significant drop in revenues since 2011.
“Your revenues have decreased somewhere in the neighborhood of $80,000 to $90,000 on an annual basis,” Walsh told the council. A lot of that drop is due to a change in state law that caps the surcharge amount for customers outside the incorporated town limits. They were paying 50-percent more, but the town had to drop that to 15-percent last year to comply with the law. “There’s a portion of it due to some of your larger users just aren’t using as much water, and therefore their sewage bills are going down as well. The lion’s share of it is the reduction that was made via state statute last year,” Walsh explained. The rate increase will be phased in. The ordinance was adopted unanimously Monday, so rates will go up by $3 on the July bill for an average residential customer with a usage of 5,000 gallons of water per month. Phase Two would be effective Jan. 1, 2015, and it would be another $3 increase on top of the original $3. By February of next year, customers will be paying the full $6 increase.