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Reissued sewer bonds save millions for Mishawaka

Mishawaka, Ind.—

If you live in Mishawaka you could catch a break on your utility bills.

Officials say the city is spending millions of dollars less on longstanding sewer maintenance and projects.

They say that also means your rates might not go up so soon.

Although, the city’s common council approved a rate increases in March, locked in for the next four years.

But Monday’s approval to reissue bonds from 2010 could ensure no foreseeable increases after that.

“It’s doing nothing more than due diligence and good prudence, practices so we can save our rate payers money,” said Jim Schrader, general manager of Mishawaka Utilities.

Sewer savings could save rate payers in the long run.

“Any amount we can save just prolongs or extends the time frame before we have to do more,” said Schrader.

The city has had to do more since discussions on keeping the St. Joseph River clean materialized in 2007.

Back then the EPA mandated just under an estimated $200 million in needed upgrades.

In order to fund about a third of the project’s total, the city approved sewer and water rate hikes in 2009, 2011 and early 2017.

The city also took out $13 million in bonds.

TIF funds have been used to pay a portion of this project since 2010.

Monday,  the council approved getting some of that money back.

“We expect to reissue those bonds at lower interest rates creating about $2.5 million in savings for sewage works,” said John Juilen, partner with h. J. Umbaugh and Associates.

A dollar saved is a dollar that won’t have to come out of your bills in the future.

And in the city’s future are renegotiations with EPA to ensure even more savings.

“We’re looking to do anything we can to offset any kind of spending that’s not necessary to meet the requirements,” said Schrader.

 

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