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Residents Blast Proposed Water Rate Increase

Steve Burger

Evansville and Vanderburgh County residents aired their concerns about a proposed water rate increase before a hearing of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Thursday evening. 

Nearly a dozen people spoke to the commissioners during the public hearing which took about an hour. Pamela Martin’s comments included a common theme for those testifying- that Evansville residents already pay too much for water and sewer, and that many people have trouble paying their bills.

“We’re at a point where peoples’ lives and their livelihoods are being impacted by the way this water department is operated and the costs that they put on to the public.”

The Reverend William Payne with the Evansville Social Justice Network said that any water rate increase should come with a requirement that the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility expand its assistance programs for customers.

“We need an assistance program to help people who cannot afford to pay their bills that they have now.”

Evansville water customers can still file written comments with the IURC until the end of the day next Monday. The City of Evansville has until September 10 to file any rebuttal to Thursday's testimony. There is an evidentiary hearing set for October 12. 

A final ruling on the increase will likely come in March of next year.

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