City council to propose 50% water rate increase in New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WANE) – Your water bill could be going up. New Haven City Council will hear a proposal Tuesday night aimed at raising water rates. The mayor said it’s been six years since rates increased. Almost 5,000 customers could be paying more.

“Nobody at city hall or the city council enjoy raising rates, trust me. It’s painful,” Terry McDonald said.

He described it as business. New Haven gets their water from Fort Wayne and when the costs here go up so do theirs. But New Haven hasn’t increased the water rates since 2011.

“Fort Wayne has had a series of rate increases over the course of several years that we have not passed along to our customers,” he said.

We asked why they didn’t do that until now and McDonald was frank.

“To be quite honest with you, these things come and go so quickly and you get through an entire year and you go ‘wow we didn’t visit this,’” he said.

But now they’ve proposed 50% more over two years. There would be 30% this year and 20 the next, meaning the nearly 48,000 customers could pay anywhere from about $8 to $10 more.

“When the supply that you buy or the materials you buy goes up of course it ends up in the pockets of the consumer as well too,” McDonald said.

He said the water is beyond good quality and the systems are maintained. The increase isn’t for any updates or replacements. According to him, it’s simply just time.

All of this will be brought up at city council at 7 p.m. Tuesday night. The public is encouraged to ask questions or voice their concerns next month at public hearing.