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Friday, May 6, 2016

Council analyzes future of city's water

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The future of water in Brazil may no longer be on ice.

During Tuesday's meeting, the Common Council of the City of Brazil took the next step to potentially replacing the water tower and reviewed potential waterworks utility rate increases.

In a public hearing prior to the meeting, West Central Indiana Economic Development District Economic Development Planner Terry Jones explained information about the Community Development Block Grant Planning Program and the subsequent grant application the city would need to submit to conduct a water study.

"The planning grant would come from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, who will conduct a study to identify the biggest problem areas within the city," Jones said. "This study opens a bunch of other avenues, including the possibility for a grant to replace the water tower."

The total cost of the study would be for $32,000, of which $28,800 would come from the grant as the city must provide a 10 percent match.

"The size of Brazil makes it a 'non-entitlement' area in which grant monies must be applied for instead of automatically given, which happens in bigger areas like Indianapolis and Terre Haute," Jones said. "Also, we have completed the survey of residential water customers which is required as part of the application process."

When the regularly scheduled meeting began, the council passed a resolution to move forward with the application process and commit the city to the match amount.

"The greatest purpose of this study is that it keeps the process moving," Jones, who is also serving as Grant Administrator for the project, said.

The council also conducted the first reading of an ordinance regarding increasing the waterworks utility rates.

Jennifer Wilson, CPA with Crowe Horwath LLP, Indianapolis, explained the proposal eliminates the seventh tier of rates for water consumption and adds an 87 percent increase on all other tiers.

"Water consumption rates in Brazil have not been increased since 1993," Wilson said. "The increases would affect the water portion of residents' bills only, not the sewage."

Wilson added the increases would not only cover the cost of operations, but the city's debt service for waterworks and help fund future projects as well.

"We eliminated the seventh tier because, in essence, it was costing the city to provide water services to those customers," she said. "The average residents' water bill would increase approximately $12-$13 dollars with the changes."

The council had discussed potentially phasing in the increases, but discovered it would hamper the city's ability to receive grant funding.

"Rates need to be at a set amount to receive grants for other projects," Wilson told the council. "By setting the increases now, it enhances the city's ability to receive grants for the replacement of the water tower and older water lines."

The council has tentatively set a public hearing on the matter one hour prior to its next meeting on Jan. 13, 2009, at 6 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

In other business, the council approved a resolution for a General Obligation Bond in connection with the Clay County Redevelopment Commission through a pre-existing interlocal agreement.

According to the resolution, the bond is not to exceed $670,000 and will be incrementally paid off during approximately the next 10 years. The bond will go to help cover some of the debts incurred by the city under previous administrations.

The next regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil will be Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, at 7 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall.


Rate change information

The following figures are rates considered by the Common Council of the City of Brazil for Water Consumption and minimum monthly charge based on the size of the meter:

Consumption (by cubic feet)Rate per 100 cubic feet
First 500$4.21
Next 1,500$3.74
Next 2,500$3.27
Next 7,500$2.81
Next 18,000$2.09
More than 30,000$1.63
Size of meterCharge
5/8 inch$10.51
3/4 inch$14.03
1 inch$20.94
1.5 inch$34.97
2 inch$54.79
3 inch$84.15
4 inch$104.72
6 inch$157.08

A public hearing regarding the waterworks utility rates will be conducted Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, at 6 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall.


Comments
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Wait till we get the bill for replacing the fresh water lines, that are well over 100 years old. Stand by firmly.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 5:27 AM

I am not familiar with how water rates in Brazil compare with other surrounding communities and I live out in the county with well water so I pay for my water in great lump sums when pump or well itself fails, but in addition to the cost of water and its infrastructure being reflected solely on the patron's water bills, the city might think of some of the cost of properly maintaining the pipes etc as part of development. It might help with future development to have a better maintained water system in place as if I remember correctly, this has been an issue in the past. It's another case of getting what you pay for and investment into the community, just as it is with literacy and education. Benefits are reaped for the entire community when quality is higher, not just those who get the "product" directly.

It would be as if I allowed my pipes to rust out and hauled water up in a bucket if my pump failed. Even though it would be only a portion of my holdings, it would lower the worth of my entire house and land. If the community doesn't have a dependable water system, it makes potential worth of all the area's real property worth less as well.

These improvements and a more substantial maintenance plan is long overdue IMHO.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 6:26 AM

My last H2O bill was over 100.00 so now its going to be more like 120.00? The H2O bill here has always ran about 98.00 - 105.00. I think that is already an exorbitant amount,

-- Posted by Centered on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 6:37 AM

So, we are going to be paying more for water that at this point we can not even drink?? That is progress!!! Makes me want to move here!!!

-- Posted by sassypants on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 8:27 AM

Centered:

The increase will be adjusted as to the amount of water you use, not sewage or trash pickup. Most customers increase will amount to about $14.00. That will get us TWO new water towers and increase our ability to aggressively move toward developement near I-70 and S.R. 59 which will benefit Brazil. And if your water use amounts to an average of $100.00 per month, you'd better be getting it checked to see if there's a massive water leak somewhere. Unless you run a car wash or laundry service.

sassypants:

What do you mean water "we cannot even drink"? If you're referring to this last water break, how often does that happen? As a matter of fact, the boiling procedure was for safety precautions only. It doesn't mean it'll kill you if you drink it without boiling. Brazil IS moving ahead, it just takes time to repair what has not been taken care of in the past. As a last resort, take seriously your last sentence.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 11:20 AM

Thoughtful

Rude remarks like yours make me want to move away!!!! Last I heard we, and the surrounding areas were not to drink the water. Am I wrong???

-- Posted by sassypants on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 12:14 PM

How many illegal meetings will the mayor and council have before the comply with the "Open Door" law?

-- Posted by tinytim on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 1:38 PM

Brazil does need to do some major work t its water system, but I don't want to hear about gold leaf on the water tower to make it look pretty.......lol.

Last month I used 1100 cu. ft. of water. (A gallon is equal to 0.1336806 cubic feet so I used 8228 1/2 gallons of water last month.) I paid $23.25 for H2O alone. Under the new rate, the H2O alone would cost 43.49 and bring the total bill I paid up from 107.10 to 128.75. Twenty bucks will neither make me or break me and seven people reside in my house along with three dogs...lol. Looks like it averages out to less than three dollars per person per month.

We have not raised the rate as the cost of production rose, so it looks like a big jump. Isn't it funny how gas prices bounce all over the scale, but water is held too long at lower than it should for the price to maintain the system?

-- Posted by FlyinLion on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 3:59 PM

Jenny, be glad you don't have to pay a water bill and supply drinking water for your livestock....lol.

-- Posted by FlyinLion on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 4:01 PM

I understand that, as citizens, we need to give money, in order to get something back. in this case, water that's suitable for consumption. But, while, we knew that this change in our water rates was inevitable, what they don't put into consideration is the fixed incomes many of this county are on because of the already failing economy. We need it... but the city also qualifies for so many grants that could help cover more costs with out putting the extra pressure of "is it water or the doctors for my child" this month. Because for some, that's what it's going to come down to.

besides that... what's with the meter charge part of the chart?

-- Posted by mhicks on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 4:50 PM

It is good that the mayor and council are moving forward. They have made a lot of progress in less than a year.

-- Posted by scwh1974 on Thu, Dec 11, 2008, at 7:14 PM

tinytim,

Obviously city hall has given proper notice as the Times reporter was at the meeting.

I decided to look up the Open Door Law as I was made curious by your comments.

I found this in Indiana Code 5-14-1.5-5: Public notice of meetings (c):

"Notice of regular meetings need be given only once each year, except that an additional notice shall be given where the date, time, or place of a regular meeting or meetings is changed. This subsection does not apply to executive sessions."

I believe this was a regualry monthly meeting wasn't it.

Even if it wasn't, I always see notices for all the meetings posted on the city hall door, which the law also said had to be done. So i dont think they had an illegal meeting.

That being said, yes it is a bad time for everyone because of the economy, but something has gone wrong when something hasnt been changed for 15 years.

If it means i have to pay about 20 bucks more a month for water but we get new pipes, a new tower and obviously better water pressure because of those things, i'm all for it.

From what I have seen, Mayor Bradshaw is trying to fix things that were ignored in the past and make the city better.

-- Posted by axegrinder1313 on Fri, Dec 12, 2008, at 7:45 PM


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