Sen. Charbonneau Looks to Help Utility Service Providers Under Recent Legislation

State Senator Ed Charbonneau
State Senator Ed Charbonneau

An area state senator is hoping their legislation will be able to impact the operations of local water and wastewater utility service providers.

State Senator Ed Charbonneau says Senate Bill 257 has received approval by the Senate last week and now moves to the Indiana House for approval. According to information provided by Charbonneau’s offices, the bill seeks to aid distressed utilities to make decisions before falling into crisis.

A digest of the he bill allows for entities acquiring water and wastewater utilities to avoid certain costs and obstacles if the purchaser meets certain requirements. Some of those include: serving fewer than 3-thousand customers, or if the utility was not viable without the acquisition.

Charbonneau says that the bill lowers operations and maintenance costs for the providers and increases technical and financial capacity. The ability to retain and attract staff was also cited as being among the benefits.

SB257 also addresses issues of safety with utility service providers, speeding up the process by which the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission makes its decision on a petition to acquire a distressed utility.

The Valparaiso Republican says his bill will put give community members more control over their utilities and allow the service providers to better serve their customers.