JAY COUNTY, Ind. (WFFT) - Sewer rates for people living in Jay County could soon be going up.
The Jay County Regional Sewer District says the $25 a month increase is needed because it can no longer afford to handle rate increases from other towns.
Thursday, those sewer customers weighed in during a public hearing at the Jay County court house.
"I feel like this was saddled upon us unjust and unfair," said Derek Rodgers, Jay County Regional Sewer District customer.
Rodgers is just one of nearly 100 customers in the Jay County Regional Sewer District.
The sewer district was created after Jay County was fined by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management back in 2005.
Now, the sewer district is asking the Jay County Council to approve a rate hike to keep paying for expenses - as required by state law.
However, Rodgers doesn't think it should come from the customers already struggling.
"I feel like that should come from the county subsidy, county involvement because it was their issue to begin with," said Rodgers.
The sewer district is required to charge customers enough to cover all of its expenses.
That includes a loan and fees imposed by the towns of Portland and Dunkirk for the district to use those treatment facilities.
Both towns recently raised their rates for the sewer district, which the district can no longer afford.
"But they still have to pay Portland and Dunkirk. The Jay County Regional Sewer District is prohibited by statute from adopting a rate that doesn't cover their costs," said John Brooke, Jay County Regional Sewer District attorney.
Rodgers said he wouldn't mind paying for the system if it actually worked.
He said there's been times he's had to fix the system at his house.
"Our pump station has had a couple troubles. It gets full and you have to go out there and try to flip the float and get it to reset," said Rodgers.
Jay County Council will consider the rate increase during its next meeting on April 11.
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