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Dee Bonner | Shelbyville, IN
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January 19, 2019

2/12/2013 12:19:00 AM
Four-Flushers Fleece Flocks
A Phreddie Phenol Report

Phreddie Phenol

Hey, Shelbyville city residents, let's set something straight.

Shelbyville's Republican city council was not required to pass an ordinance allowing Indiana-American Water Company to include a "fire hydrant fee" on your monthly water bill.

In fact, the city council had several other choices.

The council could have chosen to continue paying the fire hydrant fees with tax dollars.

Or, the council could have dipped into the Wastewater Treatment Plant's "sacred cow" surplus which has continued to accumulate funds due to a previously city-imposed surcharge.

Or, the council could have re-allocated a portion of the city's racino money instead of pouring millions of dollars annually into ill-defined local economic development subsidies whose actual cost-benefit ratios are impossible to accurately measure.

Or, the council could have enacted even more cuts in the city budget to offset the increased fire protection rates.

Or, the council could have assessed it's own surcharge fee (tax) to help defray the city's rising costs of fire hydrants.

Or, the council could have regularly resisted the water company's ongoing rate increase requests by filing objections with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

Or, the council could have petitioned the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor to intervene in the rate requests on behalf of the citizens of Shelbyville.

Or, the council could have threatened to exercise eminent domain in order to take control of the water utility.

But, no-o-o-o-o...

Shelbyville's Republican city council chose to pass a new ordinance that in effect removes fire hydrant fees from the city budget and places them directly on the backs of city residents.

In doing so, members of Shelbyville's city council chose to turn their own backs on citizens.

Unfortunately for residents, passage of the ordinance was precisely what Indiana-American Water wanted the council to do because once the fire hydrant fees are included on their customers' monthly bills, the filing of future rate requests will become less complex for the water company.

So, what's the bottom line?

News reports prior to the Republican city council's November 19, 2012 ordinance claimed a typical Shelbyville water customer would pay an additional $4.12 every month. Right?


According to a recently published legal notice, it looks like water customers will soon be paying an additional $4.53 every month instead of $4.12 every month because Indiana-American Water just filed for another rate increase.

That's right, even before you receive your first monthly billing for the new "Fire Protection Surcharge" your rate will go up ten percent (10%).

Ain't that a pisser.

If you thirst for more information about the latest rate increase, excerpts from Indiana-American Water's February 4, 2013 filing notice follow:

"RE: REVISED Notice of Filing of Shelbyville Public Fire Protection Surcharge - updated from previous notice

"Notice is hereby given that on or about February 18, 2013, Indiana-American Water Company, Inc. will file a revised schedule of rates with the Indiana Regulatory Commission (IURC) to revise its rates for customers located within the Shelbyville district for the purpose of establishing a fire protection surcharge in lieu of directly billed hydrant charges now being paid by the City of Shelbyville. It is expected that the surcharge will be approved and in effect by the end of March 2013.

"Prior to this filing, the Shelbyville Common Council passed Ordinance number 12-2705 on November 19, 2012, providing that all costs for fire protection shall henceforth be recovered through a surcharge to be included in the basic rates of customers located in the Shelbyville district. The current statewide fire protection surcharges for customers vary based on the size of the applicable water meter(s). The fire protection surcharge associated with the typical 5/8" residential water meter in the Shelbyville district is $4.53 per month.

"Once the revised rates have been approved by the IURC, all customers located within the City of Shelbyville will be assessed this fire protection surcharge on an ongoing basis.

"If you wish to file an objection to this filing you may contact the Office of Consumer Counselor by calling 317-233-2747 or send an Email to:

"To file an objection with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission regarding this matter, you may phone 317-232-2703 or Email"

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Article comment by: Grassy Knoll

Dee, is that your alter ego, ranting at yourself? BTW, same thing happened in Franklin not long ago.

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Lee Harvey Oswald

Funny, I was there, and didnt see you. In fact you are NEVER there. You sit behind your monitor, dish out orders to the fledgling few who listen, and bitch. But you also forgot to mention the vote was split between the Repubs AND YOUR mayor spoke heavily in favor of Fucking the Citizens!! Yes YOUR mayor, the one who's campaign YOU worked for & designed that Steve Jobs look alike mailer for. You disgust me, you flip flopping libtard piece of crap! I voted for DeBaun, but NEVER again!!

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