On Feb. 19, 2013, the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility Board took initial action to approve the rates accepted by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). On Dec. 29, 2011, the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility petitioned the IURC to incrementally increase water rates to fund growing operating expenses and much-needed capital improvements.
Upon taking office, Mayor Winnecke’s Administration sought a delay in the request to further evaluate the need and financial impacts of the rate adjustment. It was concluded to proceed given the under-investment over the past decade by the City of Evansville in its water system infrastructure.
The IURC approved a phased increase over the next three years. The rate increases will apply to all Evansville Water and Sewer Utility customers, including residential, commercial, industrial and whole-sale customers. The graph below illustrates Evansville’s water rate compared to other Indiana cities (using 2011 data, the most recent available) and outlines the average incremental rate increase.
The increased revenue will fund capital improvement projects the Utility has been delaying for years, including:
• Replacing several old water main lines throughout the city.
• Relocating water lines that are in the right of way of road improvement projects.
• Updating Water Monitoring Technology to help the Utility meet Water Quality Standards.
• Water Tower Painting and Inspection Projects.
“Evansville's water system — like those in cities across the U.S. — is old and in need of repair and updates,” said Allen Mounts, director of the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility. “We realize that any increase in utility rates will impact our customers. The rate increase will help fund much-needed capital improvement projects to reduce water main breaks and system failures, among other important improvements throughout the Utility’s massive infrastructure.”
Evansville Water and Sewer Utility’s last water rate increase was approved by the IURC in 2007 and phased in through 2010.