Austin Seeking Sewer Rate Increase

Wastewater utility customers in the City of Austin would see a modest monthly increase in their sewer bills if a proposed change in rates is approved by the city council.
The minimum residential customer using 1,530 gallons of water would see a monthly increase of $1.62 from $18.85 to a new minimum of $20.47, according to Austin Clerk-Treasurer Chris Fugate.
The last sewer rate study was done ten years ago and the last rate increase for Austin sewer utility customers was six years ago in 2015, he said.
“Since then, as we all know, costs increase over time,” said Fugate. “IDEM (Indiana Department of Environmental Management) which oversees all wastewater effluent in the Hoosier state, makes new requirements which cost the utility money.”
He said that the initial increase, which amounts to about an 8.6% rate increase, would be met with a “cost of service” increase of one percent per year going forward.
Fugate noted that Austin’s monthly utility bill is for sewer and trash collection. “The increase proposed is only on the sewer portion of the bill,” he said.
The Austin City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed increase at their regularly scheduled meeting on March 9 at 6 p.m.
A legal notice on the hearing and proposed rate increase is found on page 2 of this week’s Times and also online at
If approved at the March public hearing, rates would go into effect on April 1. Austin wastewater customers would see the increase with their May utility bills, Fugate said.