Pharos-Tribune

Local News

September 17, 2013

Peru proposes 29 percent increase to water rates

Officials say utility revenue not enough to pay back loan.

PERU — Water rates in Peru could go up by as much as 29 percent to help pay for a $18.6 million upgrade to the city wastewater treatment plant that was completed in 2006.

Peru Utilities General Manager Roger Merriman said the proposed increase would generate around $705,000 a year in additional revenue for the utility. He said the current rate generates a total of $2.4 million.

For an average home using 4,000 gallons of water a month, the rate increase would come out to an additional $8.40 a month.

Merriman told the Peru City Council the rate increase is necessary because the utility isn’t generating enough revenue to pay for operation of the treatment plant and repayment on the $18.6 million bond the utility used to upgrade the plant.

He said an ordinance requires the utility generate enough money to pay for both.

“Our hand is being forced here,” Merriman said. “We really don’t have much choice in the matter. The current rates are simply not sufficient, and we’d like to address this now rather than later.”

Merriman said the utility is required annually to pay $1.24 million toward the debt, and it has 10 more years to pay off the remaining $12.4 million on the bond.

He said water rates increased 160 percent from 2000 to 2005 to help make the debt payment, but the utility never collected as much money as anticipated from the increase.

If the utility fails to pay back its bond debt, Merriman said, the state could take over the wastewater plant and force rate increases.

“I don’t think we want to go there,” he said. “We don’t enjoy asking our customers to pay more, especially in this economy. But if we default on the debt, the repercussions could be severe.”

Once the bond is repaid in 10 years, Merriman said the $1.24 million currently going towards the debt will help pay for another federally mandated project to eliminate overflow water from dumping into the Wabash River.

He said the Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires that upgrade be competed within 18 years.

Peru Utilities serves around 5,000 customers in the city. He said the increase would not affect Grissom Air Reserve Base, which the utility also serves.

Council will vote on the proposed rate increase during its October meeting. A public hearing will be held before the vote.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT072214 Western Wildfires.jpg Local volunteer to help wildfire victims A Flora resident will be among the volunteers helping those affected by the wildfires in Washington State.Pat Rinehart was scheduled to fly out of Indianapolis International Airport Monday afternoon and join fellow American Red Cross volunteers at th

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No Headline Provided Search for man continues at lake MOROCCO (AP) — Recovery crews are searching for the body of a Hammond man believed to have drowned at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area. Indiana conservation officers say 24-year-old Saul Lopez disappeared Saturda

    July 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT072214 Lauren Ray.jpg Logansport graduate makes a go at Hollywood “Instincta,” the latest film by a 2008 Logansport High School graduate, will be screened at the Gen Con Indy Film Festival in Indianapolis in August.It is an action, thriller cop drama short film, starring Logansport native Lauren Zehner Ray, Michael

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDU-PT072314 whitley lehr.jpg School's top honor goes to local grad Whitley Lehr chose Indiana University Kokomo because of its excellent School of Nursing. Receiving the campus’ most prestigious scholarships sealed the deal for each of her. The 18-year-old Delphi student called the Herbert Scholarship “a huge blessi

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT072214-Gwin3-BCM Landis Elementary teacher back from China experience Steve Gwin has hundreds of pictures already on his new laptop, just months after buying it. He spent the month of June in China teaching to kids at two schools and chronicled about each adventure.Gwin teaches first grade at Landis Elementary and got

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Four injured when motorcycles collide Four people were injured Sunday when a motorcycle rear-ended another motorcycle. The accident occurred at 4:06 p.m. Sunday on the ramp from U.S. 35 North at U.S. 24, according to Cass County Sheriff Deputy Brad Craven. Riding a 2012 Harley-Davidson,

    July 21, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 21, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 21, 2014

  • NWS-PT072014 Corn2.jpg Bumper crop? Corn farmers hopeful that good weather lasts Several Cass County corn farmers say they may see record-breaking harvests this fall thanks to “perfect” weather during the spring growing and summer pollination periods.“I think it’s going to be one of the best crops we’ve ever harvested,” southern

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Monticello puts cardboard to the test MONTICELLO — Lori Abbott has been collecting pieces of cardboard for months now, in anticipation of the Monticello Rotary Club Cardboard Boat Regatta.“After work, I go home and work on the boat,” Abbott said.The second annual cardboard boat race is h

    July 21, 2014

  • BIZ-PT072014 kesling 3D scanner.jpg Fitting in: Kesling's acquires 3-D scanner It’s like something out of Star Trek.You set your foot onto a glass pane. A small camera runs on a track around the pane, aimed all the while at the sole of your foot. And after about 15 seconds, the camera sends a 3-D image of your foot through the

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
eEdition