February 26, 2014 | 09:56 AM
The Harrison County Regional Sewer District board set the rates for the customers associated with the New Salisbury sanitary sewer system project, which expects to go on line in April or May, last Wednesday morning at its regular monthly meeting.
The average cost of the system for customers, which includes only businesses in and around the intersection of state roads 64 and 135, is $68 per month (residential customers have to approach the district for service; the board can't force anyone to hook on to the service). That figure assumes a 5/8- or 3/4-inch water meter (12 of the 17 businesses have one of these two sizes of meters) and 4,000 gallons per month average. Two businesses have a one-inch meter and two have a two-inch meter, which would increase the monthly base charge considerably. A one-inch meter monthly base charge will be $78.40 and a two-inch will be $309.40 (the monthly base charge is just $32.20 for a 5/8- or 3/4-inch meter.)
Only the businesses that use the system will be charged. The board estimates three or four businesses will do so immediately. The others can join at any time. The businesses will pay the rate as if all 17 businesses were hooked on the system.
The board debated splitting the entire cost among only those that hooked on immediately, but the cost would have been too high, and the same went for the scenario where 10 of the 17 businesses paid the entire cost.
With four customers, the cost would have been about $130 for the average scenario from above. With 10 customers, it would be $79.
The district will be OK financially because the system won't run as much with fewer customers, so the costs will stay affordable, consultant Bob Woosley, of Heritage Engineering, said.
"We won't run as much with three or four customers instead of 17," president Tom Tucker said.
An ordinance will be created by district board attorney Chris Byrd, then a public hearing will have to take place before the rates will be adopted.
Woosley said the district is ahead of the timeline required by the Economic Development Agency.
The ordinance also will include a late fee, something that's not a part of the district's current set-up.
The rate study was conducted by H.J. Umbaugh & Associates out of Indianapolis.
The officers for the new year were again elected: president, Tucker; vice president and treasurer, Gary Davis; and secretary, Tony Combs.
The board's next scheduled meeting will be Wednesday, March 19, at 8:30 a.m. at the Harrison County Community Foundation building in Corydon.