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New Carlisle considers raising water rates to fix aging system

The city of New Carlisle will vote Monday on whether to raise water rates to pay for repairs to its aging system.

Most of the city’s water and sewer system was installed in the 1930s, said Howard Kitko, New Carlisle director of public service.

RELATED: New Carlisle debates paying for $700K repairs after rate hike rejected

The average household average bill is $51.24 per month. The city has proposed raising that to $57.08. City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at the Smith Park Shelter House.

In 1996, the city’s new water plant went online. It was installed because the city anticipated residential and industrial growth, Kitko said.

“We have really had no serious growth,” he said. “So we have a water plant loan for another 10 years. A total of 20, that we have been paying on for the same amount of residents and close to the same amount of businesses we’ve had since early 2000.”

The plant operates efficiently but not well.

“It’s made to pump 1.2 million gallons a day and we are averaging anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 a day,” Kitko said.

The city also has to make do a lot of “Band-aids” because of its aging system, he said.

“We have to manage those things — pipes that break all the time, that aren’t up to code,” Kitko said.

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New Carlisle homeowner David Vanhoosc has noticed the problems.

“This time of year, you have water main breaks everywhere. I don’t know how they can afford to pay for that,” Vanhoosc said.

The proposed increase also would help pay for repairs to the water tower, Kitko said. It hasn’t had maintenance in over 60 years.

“This project is a five year pay back to try and get this tower up to par, get it repainted basically, and start taking care of our assets,” Kitko said.

Vanhoosc supports updates to the city’s water system and would be willing to pay a higher bill for it, especially if it will stop the main breaks in front of his home.

“They have to shut our water off,” he said. “It doesn’t take them too long to fix it but I know it’s expensive with this time of the year. It freezes up all over the road, it gets muddy and the inconvenience of not having any water.”

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