Ordinance Proposing Water Rate Increase Introduced at North Judson Town Council Meeting

An ordinance proposing a 15 percent rate adjustment to water utility bills in North Judson was introduced at this week’s town council meeting.

Eric Walsh from Umbaugh and Associates informed council members and meeting attendees that the bump would result in a customer who uses an average of 4,000 gallons per billing cycle seeing an additional charge of approximately $4.00 while residents who utilize a minimal amount of water each month would pay about $3.40 more. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Discusses Umbaugh Contract and Change to the Town’s Point of Contact

The North Judson Town Council members renewed the town’s contract with Umbaugh and Associates when they met Monday evening.

Council President Wendy Hoppe mentioned that Umbaugh really helped save the town money last year. The council members noted that the contract appeared to be identical to last years and Town Attorney Justin Schramm said he felt comfortable moving forward with it.

The contract secures Umbaugh for consulting services related to the 2019 Budget and any other financial matters. There’s a $7,000 maximum for budget consultation, but if all the time is not used then the town will not be charged the full amount.

Though no changes were made to the agreement itself, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe mentioned that there has been a switch in who serves as the town’s point of contact. Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Members Unanimously Pass Water Rate Ordinance after Removing Section about Backflow Testing

A public hearing was held over water rate adjustments prior to last night’s Winamac Town Council meeting.

The adjustments to the water raters are being proposed as a way to cover the town’s water project. Eric Walsh from Umbaugh and Associates was present and provided some details about the $1.6 million water project.

He explained that the town has been planning for this project for many years, which assisted them in receiving a grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs in the amount of $550,000. He added that the remainder of the project will be covered by borrowing from the electric utility at 1% interest rate. He said this will cause water rates to rise slightly.

Walsh said, “It is resulting in about a 9 percent, little less than 9 percent increase on your water bills. So to an average residential customer [using] about 5,000 gallons a month, that’s a $3 a month of an increase.”

Walsh said if the town hadn’t pre-planned or received the OCRA grant, rates could have increased by about 20 percent, costing the average customer to pay $6 to $7 more. He said no one likes to increase rates, but he commended the council members for the proactive steps they took to keep the increases from being doubled. Continue reading

Winamac Council Approves Sewer Rate Hike

Winamac Town Hall
Winamac Town Hall

Sewer rates will soon be going up for Winamac residents. The Winamac Town Council gave its final approval to an ordinance Monday, raising the sewer rate by six percent. Eric Walsh with accounting firm Umbaugh and Associates says the increase will allow the town’s Wastewater Department to save about half a million dollars in the long term, by refinancing one of its outstanding bonds.  Continue reading

Winamac Town Council Approves Sewer Rate Increase

Winamac Town Office
Winamac Town Hall

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. Continue reading