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Bloomington Residents’ Water Bills to Rise

A 15 percent increase should show up on Bloomington residents' water bills within the next 90 days.

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Photo: WFIU News Stock Image

Bloomington residents can expect to eventually see a 50 percent rise in their water bills.

A 15 percent increase should show up on Bloomington resident’s water bills within the next 90 days following the recent approval of the rate hike by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

The city sought the increase in order to fund $41 million in upgrades for its water treatment facilities. The hikes are set to come in two waves an initial 15 percent increase followed by an additional 30 percent increase.

Bloomington Utilities Director Patrick Murphy said all told it’s about a 50 percent increase for most water bills, with the goal of paying off bonds issued for the project more quickly in order to save the city money on interest.

“You’re creating a certain level of revenues,” he said. “So obviously in this process we had originally requested a 47 percent increase and it was increased to 54 percent in order to pay the debt in a timely fashion.”

Murphy said the city’s proposals are reviewed by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission from both a business and an operational standpoint. IURC spokeswoman Danielle McGrath said the commission looks out for the interests of the citizen.

“Before any rate increase can take effect,” she said, “the utility must file a revised tariff with the commission. A tariff outlines the utilities rates and charges as well as other rules that they follow and regulations.”

Murphy said about $36 million of $41 million project will be used to cover construction costs.

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