Roanoke moving forward on water rate hike

The Roanoke Town Council voted to have a second reading of an ordinance that would raise the town's water utility rates at its Tuesday, April 2 meeting.

The ordinance, 2013-2, would increase rates by 30 percent, with an additional increase to come in early 2014.

The rise is to help bring the town into compliance with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and finance such things as another water tower, a well and an iron filter.

The reason for a partial rate increase now with another next year pertains to the town's water bond, says Council President Dave Tucker.

"We started this about a year ago, working up numbers... at that time, we started talking about numbers, like 70-72 percent increase, but we're not going to be able to finalize those numbers until after the first of the year, ‘til our bond comes in and we know some solid numbers," Tucker says.

"So, we opted to go with a partial now so we can start getting revenue at the low end to help pay for some of (those) bond payments now instead of waiting ‘til the first of the year, which would be another year out."

Council voted to spend additional money on a sewer project when it came to light that an error had been made in totaling up the entire cost of the project. Instead of $150,000, council will now spend $184,407.

In other business:

• Clerk-Treasurer JoAnne Kirchner said that the former Town Court building has been cleaned out and is nearly ready to serve as the new home of the Town Hall and Police Department.

• Town Marshal Jim Wood stated that he was in the process of cleaning out his office so the town's Parks Department could move in.

• Tucker reported that he has a tenant to lease the space formerly occupied by the Roanoke Public Library for two months.