A group of Center Grove area residents said their utility company wasn’t charging all customers equally and filed a complaint with a state agency.
After new town council members, who run the Bargersville water utility, took a look at the issue, they decided the residents were right.
The plan is to start charging all residents, whether they live in town or not, a fire protection fee on their utility bills, instead of letting some pay through their property taxes. But first, both sides must go through a hearing with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission that the complaint prompted.
The commission will have a hearing next month on whether Bargersville Utilities should charge residents who live outside town the same amount for fire protection fees as residents who live in town. Community advocacy group White River Citizens United challenged that it’s unfair that residents who live in town pay the fee with property taxes that they would have to pay to Bargersville anyway.
Bargersville Town Council members want to change the fee so that everyone pays it with their monthly utility bills but can’t while it’s still under state review, town council member and utilities superintendent Kevin Killinger said. The state won’t allow any changes to the utility rates until after regulators have a hearing and reach a decision.
A decision must be reached by a deadline of Nov. 14, commission spokeswoman Danielle McGrath said.