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Vic Kelson, City of Bloomington Utilities Director,, 812-349-3650

City of Bloomington Officials Consider Rate Increase for Utilities Fees

Bloomington, Ind. — The City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) Service Board recently approved increases to several charges related to water and sewer service. Most of the charges that were reviewed are one-time fees that have not increased in the last decade. The proposed rates reflect the cost of material and labor to perform the services, such as installing new connections or having a water sample tested through the CBU lab.

Another type of non-recurring charge is known as a system development or connection fee. New connections to the water and sewer infrastructure increase demand on the system and the plants that treat the water. As Bloomington grows, the capacity of CBU’s water and wastewater treatment plants must also increase. Money collected through the system development charge is saved to offset part of the costs for future capacity expansion. The last major capacity increase was at the Monroe Water Treatment Plant; in 2014, the capacity was increased from 24 to 30 million gallons per day by adding an additional treatment basin and filters.  

“We are looking at significant system development at our wastewater facilities in the next decade,” said CBU Director Vic Kelson. “Funding through a combination of connection fees and rate adjustments will ensure our plants work efficiently and for years to come.”

The proposed charges will go to the City Council on November 1 for first reading consideration. Public comment is welcome at the November 8 Council meeting. If Council approves the charges, the sewer rates will be eligible to go into effect immediately. The changes related to drinking water will go on to be reviewed by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and must be authorized before CBU can implement changes related to drinking water.

The proposed rates were calculated by an independent firm using CBU customer historical usage, current cost of materials, labor studies, and market data. If the charges are approved, the new rates will become effective as per the included chart. Customers who have already applied for new service will pay the current fees rather than the proposed charges.