Water bills running over at Fillmore

Monday, November 13, 2006

Issues with water rates and payments came to a head during the Fillmore Town Council meeting Saturday.

The council learned the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselors is accepting comments from Fillmore water consumers. According to a press release from OUCC, the town is seeking its first base rate increase since 1998.

These changes will cover increased operating and maintenance costs, and capital improvements. Consumers can review a copy of the filing at the Putnam County Public Library.

Fillmore consumers must send their comments by mail, fax, or Internet before Tuesday, Dec. 12.

The council had no comment about the information from OUCC.

The council also learned about issues with water bill payments. After looking at a print out of all the consumers and their water payments, the council learned several consumers had not been paying their bills.

Town Clerk/Treasurer Maxine Davies told the BannerGraphic Monday that several consumers have not paid their bills and have moved out of town, while others are just late paying their bills.

The town gives consumers 60 days to pay off their late water bill. After 60 days, the town sends the consumer a card stating their water will be shut off if they do not pay the bill.

Davies said that she recently had six to eight consumers come in to pay off their bills. Some of them paid the full price, while others are paying $100 a week.

Bill payments help the town accumulate funds to help pay the town's water expenses, water payments and the water loan.

The loan from USDA Rural Development was acquired for the installation of water and sewage for the town. According to Davies, there is $13,000 in the budget for the loan, which has a payment coming up.

In other business, the council:

* Learned the water meter reader is still out, so the meters will be read later than normal.

* Heard a report from Town Marshal Tom Helmer about the pre-disaster mitigation plan. Helmer said he was on a committee to find the addresses for police departments and airports. The next mitigation meeting is Monday, Nov. 27 at 10 a.m.

* Learned that roads would be paved in two weeks. The Wabash Valley Asphalt will patch some areas on Westwood, and then pave from Fillmore Elementary and come north as far as they can. Council member Curt Leonard said that the town has "X" amounts of dollars for the roads. Once that dollar amount is reached, the paving will stop.

One resident asked about fixing the hole on First Street. Leonard said that he would have Wabash Valley Asphalt take a look at it and fix it.

* Learned there might be a chance that Vectren will be bringing natural gas through town. A study will be performed to see if there are enough homes and businesses in the area that want it.

* Learned that Verizon Wireless wants to come and update the lines they laid in 1984 on Putnam Street. Davies said that Verizon is wanting to update everything from Greencastle to Plainfield. She said she would contact Verizon to see if they could possibly attend the next scheduled meeting.

* Requested that people with knowledge about sewer plants attend the next meeting.

The next scheduled council meeting is set for Saturday, Dec. 2 at 9 a.m. in the town hall. This meeting is open to the public.

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