American Suburban Utilities Customers Oppose Rate Increase, Plant Expansion

Nov 16, 2015

A group of residents has mobilized against the proposed rate increase.
Credit Bette Carson / WBAA News

Tippecanoe County residents served by American Suburban Utilities will make their case this evening against the company’s plan to double the monthly sewer fee within three years.

ASU owner Scott Lods notified customers in September that he wants to increase fees to cover the cost of expanding a waste water treatment plant, as well as upgrading sewer lines and three lift stations.

Tonight at 6, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission officials will take public comment on Lods’ plan to phase in rate hikes from the current charge of $47.50 per month to $93.36 per month by July of 2018.

Resident Debby Sherman heads the steering committee of a group called Tippecanoe County Citizens Against Rate Increase, or TC-CARI.

She says customers want to know why Lods hasn’t set aside funds for upgrades as his customer base grew from about 600 rate payers to 2,500.

"We feel, first of all, the management of this facility has been questionable," Sherman says. "The rates of the facility are out of control. There is this ongoing suit about the expansion in the first place."

Sherman says neighbors are also fighting state renewal of Lods’ operating permit for the Carriage Estates treatment plant, and his pending request to increase capacity there from 1.5 million gallons per day to four million gallons.