EWSU Board Sends Water Treatment Project Proposal to State

On Tuesday, the EWSU Board of Directors voted to move forward with the plan by sending the proposal to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for consideration.

Posted: May 4, 2021 11:29 PM
Updated: May 5, 2021 8:20 AM

The Evansville Water and Sewer Utility proposing a project that would replace the city's Water Treatment Plant.

On Tuesday, the Board of Directors voted to move forward with the plan by sending the proposal to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) for consideration.

The proposal includes a monthly rate hike over five years to pay for a new facility. The current one is the original facility built by the city in 1897.

EWSU officials say they have maxed out the repairs and updates that can be done to the building's equipment.

The city held a public comment meeting in April to hear from the community on the project, but only two people attended. Both were in support of the investment in the city's infrastructure.

However, Tuesday's vote was met with several public comments, all against the rate hike. Overall, the frustrated customers were asking the board to find a different way to pay for the project.

Currently, the average residential customer using 5,000 gallons of water per month would see their bill go up by, at most, $3.03 during a five-year period. See the chart provided by EWSU below.

However, the city plans to explore grant options that could lower that rate. When asked why EWSU has not already secured that type of alternative funding, Executive Director Lane Young told the board that most of the money the city could qualify for requires "shovel-ready projects." Young says grant applications will be submitted, but the city needed to get the process for state approval rolling.

Research on this plan began in 2016 and the IURC process will likely extend through the first of 2022. There will be several public hearings held by the state regulatory board before a final decision on the project is made.

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