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Only one voice heard in case against South Bend water rate hike

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — South Bend is looking to raise water rates for the first time in more than a decade.

Tuesday, a public forum was held at the Century Center.

Steven lee, concerned ratepayer

“People on fixed income like me, I’m on social security and I know a lot of other people in the same boat it’s really a double whammy at the same time,” said Steven Lee, a concerned ratepayer.

Lee spoke up for the second time this month.

He was in this same hall just three weeks ago, fighting alongside others to block proposed I&M rate hikes.

“Now we’re getting, basically the same thing from the water department at the same time,” he said.

Tuesday, he appeared to be alone in the fight to block water rate increases.

The public hearing before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission only lasted about 15 minutes due to little interest.

But in light of the empty seats, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) wants to make sure your voices are heard.

“We’re inviting written comments through November 13, we’re encouraging folks to write in, provide any comments they would like to have included in the record,” said Anthony swinger, spokesman for OUCC.

So far, the group has received a half dozen comments.

And with a nearly 50 percent jump in rates at stake, they would like to make sure your input, much like your money, doesn’t go down the drain.

The next commission meeting will be held January 9 at the PNC Center.

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