The town of Knightsville made the next step in disbanding from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Tuesday, holding the first two readings of an ordinance allowing them to cut ties with the commission.
The town's council is expected to hold the final reading of the ordinance and put themselves out of the IURC's jurisdiction during their June meeting.
Mary Beth Fisher, the IURC's director of public information, said that approximately 325 towns have withdrawn from the IURC since legislation passed a law allowing them to do so in the early 1980s. Sixty-nine Indiana towns and cities remain under the council's jurisdiction.
Up until the legislation passed, it was mandatory that all towns and cities within the state were under the council's authority.
Under the IURC, Knightsville has to justify every rate raise it makes. It also has to show that money the Knightsville water office makes goes back into the office's infrastructure in some form. Additionally, the IURC fields complaints from customers.
Knightsville Water Superintendent Linda Minnick told The Times that the town decided to opt out when the IURC made it easier for municipalities to do so. They had thrown the idea around for a while before they took any action.
She said that the separation will make it easier and cheaper for the Knightsville water office to operate. The amount of red tape the company has to go through when they wish to increase a fee will be cut back, and the cost of association with the IURC will be eliminated.
She also said that since the state board of accounts audits Knightsville's water office every two years, the IURC is "becoming obsolete," at least in part.