This was a special Council Meeting called for the purpose of reviewing current utility rated primarily Article 4: Other Utility Rates and Charges in Chapter 9 of the City of Attica Code. The meeting was publicly advertised per requirements.
The issues discussed were as follows:
- The deposit to receive utility service in the city is $60 ($30 for water and $30 for sewer). This is the lowest out of the surrounding towns, most range from $100 to $300, with Williamsport charging the most at $400, though they also have an electric utility.
- These utility deposits are for residential and commercial properties; you may consider separating out residential and commercial deposits.
- The sewer tap charge of $200 doesn’t match with the water tap charge of $350. It may be a good idea to make these match for ease of administration. Also, the tap fees are among the lowest in the surrounding towns, with tap fees ranging from about $500 to $1200. The Town of Ambia currently has theirs set at $350 as well.
- The City does not charge a reconnection fee if a utility customer becomes disconnected.
- The ordinance should also spell out policies for disconnection hearings and collections, though most of this is statutory.
Attorney’s Jud and Ingrid Barce provided graphic handouts to illustrate the items for discussion as well as checklist for review to facilitate the utility discussion.
The council discussed various options with respect the changes in the utility Ordinance, but not proposals were presented or passed.
The last item to be discussed was the underbilling for C & D Battery from 2014 through October 2019 in the amount of $284,000. The error was a result of a programming error in the utility software that was not discovered. This was the second error found in C&D’s account, they paid the first amount they were underbilled.
The city sent a letter to C&D stating they were underbilled $284,000, and they hired an attorney from an Indianapolis law firm to dispute the bill, stating it was cities mistake.
The council discussed various options to proceed. Voorhees asked the clerk’s office to provide records from prior to 2014 before the error occurred, until after the error to examine water charges to see if there was a change in billing that C&D should have noticed, therefore making them partially responsible for the mistake going unnoticed. No further discussion took place on this issue.
Roderick stated he had no further business and requested a motion to adjourn.
Maus made the motion to adjourn, Voorhees 2nded, all were in favor and motion passed.