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South Bend common council approves city's cost-cutting sewer plan

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

South Bend’s common council is joining the fight to keep your water rates low.

Monday, the council approved a resolution in response to the action plan the city’s mayor revealed at the last council meeting.

He laid out a strategy to cut costs to mandated sewer changes from the EPA.

Monday, the council showed support for that plan.

In 2011, the EPA ordered $500 million in changes to the city’s sewer system as part of the clean water act.

City engineers say that number is now is at $861 million and that’s too heavy of a burden to put on taxpayers, according to the council.

Members challenged the administration to push back.

Two weeks ago, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he will renegotiate the original plan with the EPA with a leaner and greener plan.

“It was a confluence of a couple very fortunate things, we had the people and the resources to do it, we had the public will to encourage these folks to move toward a better solution and hopefully the EPA will see it as an outcome of ‘wow, there are other ways to do this, that are not as expensive, maybe we can make things even cleaner,’” said common councilman David Varner

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