Chesterton Tribune

Correction: Porter's new sewer rate higher than Chesterton's, a lot higher

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On Wednesday the Chesterton Tribune reported that, following a rate hike enacted by the Town Council, Porter folks will be paying 27 percent more for their sanitary sewer service.

That’s correct.

But the Tribune also reported that, even with the hike, Porter ratepayers will be paying less than Chesterton ratepayers do.

That’s incorrect, and by a wide margin.

Prior to the rate hike—enacted by the Town Council at its meeting Tuesday night—Porter folks paid a treatment rate per 1,000 gallons of water per month of $7.25, compared to the Chesterton treatment rate of $5.29.

In other words, the treatment rate in Porter was already 37 percent higher than the one in Chesterton.

Now, after the rate hike, Porter folks will be paying a treatment rate of $9.25 or 27 percent more than their previous one and 75 percent more than the one currently paid by Chesterton folks.

On the other hand, Porter’s new base rate of $21.03 for the standard 5/8’’ to 3/4’’ water meter—as distinct from its treatment rate—is marginally lower than Chesterton’s of $22.35.

So let’s say a Porter household uses exactly 5,000 gallons of water per month.

To calculate the bimonthly bill under the rate hike, do this:

•Multiply the per-1,000 gallon treatment rate of $9.25 x 5 for $46.25.

•Add to $46.25 the base rate of $21.03 for $67.28.

•Now multiply $67.28 x 2 (for the bimonthly figure) for $134.56.

Brass tacks: the average household in Porter which uses 5,000 gallons of water every month pays $134.56 on its bimonthly sanitary sewer service bill.

Compare: the average household in Chesterton which uses 5,000 gallons of water every month pays $75.25 on its bimonthly bill.

So the fact of the matter—and here is where the Tribune fouled up Wednesday’s story, after a miscommunication with Porter officials—is that the average Porter household’s bimonthly sanitary sewer service bill under the rate hike will be just about 79 percent higher than the average Chesterton household’s.

For the record, unmetered households in Porter will actually see a 48-percent increase in their sanitary sewer service bills. Prior to the rate hike, unmetered households were paying $45.44 per month or $90.88 on their bimonthly bills. Under the rate hike, they will be paying $67.28 per month—a 48-percent increase—or $134.56 on their bimonthly bills, exactly the same now as a household in Porter with a 5/8’’ to 3/4’’ meter using 5,000 gallons per month.

The Tribune regrets the error.



Posted 8/26/2010