BATTLE GROUND, Ind. (WLFI)—Leaders in Battle Ground unanimously voted and approved a new water tower last week. During a public meeting many homeowners voiced concerns over fears their rates would increase. Back in 2019 residents saw an increase in rates up to 56%. That was to improve infrastructure. People are concerned that will happen again.
Chairman for the Battle Ground Conservancy District Andrea Agree said the current water tower is several years old. The board said it is cost effective to have a new tower built. The project will cost $2.3 million and will take about 300 days to complete. That includes building and refinancing the current water tower in the area.
Agree said the board doesn't anticipate needing to adjust rates. She said there's a surplus from the rate increase last year along with a healthy 2021 budget that'll pay for this project.
"We had that rate increase over a year ago," said Agree. "It was a significant rate raise. So we understand why customers are concerned that we might have to adjust rates again. But we can afford the payments on this and a lot of it has to do with the historically low interest rates at the moment."
Another ongoing issue to some homeowners is water quality. As we previously reported in July this year, some people claim they've dealt with dirty water for months. The board released a statement on behalf of the Water Superintendent,Dan Gemmecke, for Battle Ground.
It read: "The superintendent take all issues and concerns seriously. The superintendent would like customers to call Battle Ground Town Hall with any concerns or observations so that they can be addressed. Many of the rusty water issues can be resolved easily by flushing the customer's service line."
Agree said the above statement is a message the board will stand by. She also said the board believes that's the most important message to share regarding the small volume of customers experiencing rusty water.