No one spoke against or for Centerville’s plan to increase customers’ water bills over three phases. 

Just before its regular March 12 meeting, council conducted a public hearing to discuss the potential increase that will help pay for replacement of lead service line remediation, distribution improvements and water tower rehabilitation. 

Later in the meeting, council approved the increase and a bond ordinance to cover expenses. 

The first phase of the increase takes effect April 1 and would appear on May bills. 

A typical 4,000-gallon-per-month residential customer’s bill will increase $6.36 monthly from $42.36 to $48.72 in phase one. 

The second phase would be implemented Jan. 1, 2025, adding $2.93 more per month to $51.65. The third phase will increase $2.57 per month on Jan. 1, 2026, to $54.22.  

The overall project cost is $2 million less, thanks to an Indiana Finance Authority grant. 

Council President Dan Wandersee said he thought Gov. Eric Holcomb was going to sign a bill related to lead water lines, but it’s uncertain where funding will come for that work. 

Wandersee said Centerville is ahead of the game and successfully applying for the $2 million grant will help everyone in the long run. 

In other business

Council also: 

  • Learned the new town hall in the 200 block of East Main (formerly a U.S. Bank branch) and its drive-up window will soon be open for paying utility bills. Office hours will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; the drive-up will be open 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Council also voted to close town hall on April 8 because of expected solar eclipse traffic. Some workers will be given the day off with pay, while essential workers for police and utilities maintenance will be paid double. Wandersee urged residents to use eye protection and ensure they have gas, groceries and other essentials since traffic will be high.  
  • Approved seven dates for Battle of the Bands competitions starting June 8, leading up to Archway Days in August.
  • Accepted Officer Adam Hampton’s resignation, which is the second Centerville Police Department departure for larger departments in a few weeks. Chief Ed Buchholz is making progress on hires. Austin Hines was to start March 18. New reserve officer Robert Dykes plans to join CPD full-time after the department’s expected third resignation is finalized. Another candidate is concluding testing and psychiatric evaluation.  
  • Hired municipal advisers Baker Tilly to prepare 2025’s budget. Although the final cost wasn’t available because the service hasn’t been provided yet, standard hourly rates range from $100-$175 for support/paraprofessionals/interns, $175-$275 for consultants/senior consultants/analysts, $275-$400 for manager/senior managers and $400-$600 for partners/principals/directors.
  • Announced council’s work session will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at town hall. It’s open to the public.  
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A version of this article appeared in the March 20 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.