Town leaders say grant to help Williamsport is responsible for rate increase

People living in Williamsport have seen an increase in their utility bills, some households up to as much as 42 percent in the past year.

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 11:30 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2019 11:34 PM

WILLIAMSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) — People living in Williamsport have seen an increase in their utility bills, some households up to as much as 42 percent in the past year.

This means some people are paying up to $700 a month in electric bills alone. High bills in the town isn't a new problem. 

What is new, is a series of recent grants issued to help fix the problem. But as it turns out, town leaders said those grants are the reason behind the rate hike.

Town Council President Mike Hutchison said if Williamsport doesn't update its infrastructure, it won't be long before it starts breaking down.

"Some of the utilities infrastructure has been here many years...50, 60 years and those need to be repaired, you have to pay for those," said Hutchison. 

That's why the town applied for a grant to help, and they got it. But Hutchison said they had to raise rates, in order to meet the federal standard needed to apply for the grants.

"Had we not got the grant the town would still have to repair the utilities and it would have been another 1.5 million that we would have had to increase the rates to pay for," he said. 

"You don't really have a choice in the matter, you either pay it or they shut you off," said one Williamsport resident.

This person didn't want to be named but said he has been impacted by the rate increase.

"We're looking at $500, $700, $900  a month and that's just the electric bill. If you have rent on top of that and car payments and kids to raise in a small town where you're not making a whole lot of money, it's hard," he said.

Hutchison believes it will be worth it in the long run.

"Getting the grants and paying for them over 20 years rather than a couple years is definitely going to stabilize the billing process," he said. 

Others worry time could make things worse.

"Our small little quiet town where everybody knows each other is...well everybody's going to be gone because they can't afford to live here." 

People could see another increase in bills as work on the infrastructure starts. That is set to begin sometime in the next few weeks.

Hutchison said he often hears the town has the highest bills in the state. However he said considering it had to raise rates to be eligible for a grant proves that can't be true.

West Lafayette
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Kokomo
Broken Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Rensselaer
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Fowler
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Williamsport
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Crawfordsville
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 62°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 65°
Delphi
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 63°
Monticello
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Logansport
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events