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Sewer rate hike possible at G'town

October 15, 2008
In a letter sent out Tuesday, Oct. 14, Georgetown residents were informed by the Georgetown Town Council that a rate increase of $7.12 per thousand gallons to New Albany for treatment services will take effect if an agreement is not made between the town and Floyd County by Feb. 1.

In addition to the rate increase, Georgetown will also be forced to pay a $450,000 fine if progress has not been made on the town securing its own treatment plant. The letter indicates that for a typical household this will result in additional cost of $40 per month.

The Clarion News reported on the $1.4-million agreement between Floyd County and Georgetown in its Sept. 17 issue. The plan called for the county to provide Georgetown the funds to construct a plant to the west of the town instead of building on the town-owned O'Brien property. Negotiations for this deal are still ongoing, and no agreement has been reached yet.

There will be a public hearing on Monday, Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m. at the new town hall annex at 1116 Copperfield Drive in Georgetown for residents to ask questions of the council or to air grievances. The sewer rate increase and the progress of the sewer plant deal will be on the table.

According to state law, those served by the sewer works who wish to file a written petition objecting to the rate increase must attend the hearing on Oct. 27.

In other news, at a recent meeting of the Georgetown Town Council, board members voted on and passed a motion to establish a long-awaited summer relief program for town residents.

The program, designed to offer relief from high sewer bills, will go into effect next summer and will replace the town's current policy of billing residents for sewage use based on the amount of water that is used. Now, during the summer months when water use is often increased but sewer use remains the same, residents will be billed according to their average use over a nine-month period.

"People have been asking for help on this for years," Billy Stewart, town council president, said. "When I first bought my house, I had sod put on the yard and had to water it to make it grow. But when I got my sewer bill, I almost passed out. But we now have a workable summer relief program.

"In other words, if we average someone's sewer bill for nine months and the average is $70 a month, during June, July and August, we will bill them at a rate of $70 a month, even if they water their grass, wash their cars or fill their swimming pool. Their sewer bill will remain the same."

The town had to buy a computer program for $1,460 to operate the new program efficiently.

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Schuler Bauer
Barbara Shaw
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