Superintendent Dave Ryan had a spot of good news about the spate of
delinquent customer accounts at the Utility Service Board’s meeting Monday
The number of
accounts with outstanding balances has dropped considerably in the last
month, from 1,158 in October to approximately 500 now, while the total
amount owed has fallen from $96,000 last month to “just under $50,000,” Ryan
said. “It looks like an improvement, comparatively speaking.”
by the COVID-19 pandemic who are still in arrears are urged to call the
Utility Billing Office at 926-1572.
In other business,
Ryan reported that recent high winds caused several power flickers at the
wastewater treatment plant. Resulting power surges did no damage to any
critical equipment, but did fry “some small-ticket items that will need to
“They did their job
protecting the big equipment,” Ryan noted.
Ryan also reported
that the Utility’s implementation of an automated clearing house (ACH)
system for accepting customers’ payments is proceeding. A successful test of
the ACH system was recently completed, and an ACH application form has been
included as a stuffer in the November billing statements.
ACH will allow the
Utility to automatically withdraw bimonthly rate payments from customers’
checking accounts. In August Ryan told the Service Board that nationwide ACH
payments grew by 6 percent between 2015 and 2018, while check payments fell
a corresponding 7 percent during the same period, and Ryan is guessing that
a fair number of Utility customers will be interested in taking advantage of
the ACH system.
by President Larry Brandt, Ryan told the Service Board that there have been
four confirmed COVID-19 cases among the Utility’s staff but all have
had it is back to work at the Utility and we’re back to full staff,” Ryan
Members agreed by
consensus to delegate Brandt to discuss the Utility’s 2021 budget with Ryan,
then advise them of the conclusions of that discussion at their next
meeting, Dec. 21.
October in Review
Chesterton used 50.77 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment at the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 41.13 percent of its
851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 49.79
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 48.7 percent
of its capacity.
There were no
overflows of wastewater into the Little Calumet River in October. A total of
3.42 inches of rain was recorded last month at the plant.
Also in October,
the Utility ran a deficit of $155