Sewer, water bills to jump $11 a month in Hanover
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 11:00 AM
The average Hanover household will pay about $11 more on its combined monthly sewer and water bills starting next year.
The Hanover Town Council on Monday voted unanimously to implement adjustments on its sewer and water services, which included an 18 percent increase in sewer rates and 31 percent increase in water rates.
The water rates have not been raised in the past five years, while the sewer rates have not been raised in more than 10 years.
The town commissioned H.J. Umbaugh and Associates in Indianapolis to conduct the sewer and water rate increase study.
Umbaugh representative Christina Horan said the town's water services budget has been operating in the red since its last adjustment. She also took into account that Kent Water Co., which provides water for Hanover, recently implemented a 14 percent rate increase.
"There is no way you can afford to pay more without passing that cost down to your customers," she said of the water rates.
Council President Debbie Kroger said that with the adjustments, Hanover still falls below several surrounding municipalities for the cost of its water and sewer services.
The changes will take effect for the January billing period next year.
Also during the meeting, the council voted unanimously to push through a demolition order for a house at 282 November St.
Before determining the house was an unsafe structure and approving a condemnation order from the town building inspector earlier this year, the council reported that the house had become a site for trash dumping and trespassing, and a haven for rodents and stray cats.
The home recently was purchased by George Todd at a county tax sale, and he reported to the council earlier this month that he intended to fix up the property. Meanwhile, residents, who say the structure is disrupting their chances to refinance their homes, have pressed the council to demolish the house.
Legally, Todd could not touch the house until one year after the tax sale, but the council allowed Todd two weeks to gain a quitclaim deed on the property that would allow him to enter the property.
On Monday, the council noted that no documents had been presented. But residents who attended the meeting said the windows on the house have been boarded up and a large metal trash bin was placed to the property.
"We gave Mr. Todd two weeks and we've not heard anything or received any paperwork," Kroger said.
The town will give a 10-day demolition notice to parties invested in the property.
In other business, the town will hold a cleanup week Oct. 29 - Nov. 3. The cleanup is for Hanover residents who need help with projects around the house.