An increase in water rates and the establishment of minimum rates for wastewater for customers of North Vernon Municipal Utilities received initial approval from the North Vernon City Council. The amended ordinance addressed action taken by the council last year to address increases in the price of chemicals for the utility, as well as recent work to expand and upgrade services.
The ordinance calls for a two-percent increase for all customers, residential, commercial and industrial, effective July 1st. Additional two-percent increases would follow in July of 2019 and 2020. Wastewater rates, which were increased 1.5 percent in January, will see identical increases in January of 2019 and 2020. In addition, the establishment of minimum charges for wastewater services would also be put in place for all customers.
While the action was not unexpected, council members agreed that while unfortunate, the increases had to be passed on to customers. Councilman Jack Kelley questioned if the utility was doing all it could to cut costs and improve efficiency. Council President Brian Hatfield opined that gradual increases year over year would be much more palatable to customers than one large increase.
Council is slated to hear the second reading of the ordinance at its next meeting on Wednesday, May 30th.