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South Bend common council set to vote on amended water rate hike

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

Aging infrastructure is still causing problems for South Bend.

Monday, the city’s common council addressed a solution that will cost taxpayers---but at a newly reduced cost.

“I’d rather see small increases over a periodic time instead of let’s hold off and then wait for everything breaking and then do one large increase,” said South Bend Common Council President Tim Scott.

That’s the compromise this council has been looking for.

And nearly six months later that’s what they got.

They also got a look at the dire need to address declining infrastructure impacting the city’s water system.

During Monday’s committee meeting, the city proposed two 22 percent increases over six years instead of the originally proposed 43 percent hike over five year.

$88 million is needed in maintenance and upgrades.

This new plan would bring in only $22 million.

But the city says it still helps in addressing the most critical issues.

“We’re trying to get there, but we’re getting there slowly because you can’t just overnight flip a switch and raise your rates to what you need to fund $88 million,” said Eric Horvath, director of South Bend Public Works.

The proposal will go before the full council for a vote at the next meeting.

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