Elkhart County residents not happy with sewer agreement - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Elkhart County residents not happy with sewer agreement


We first told you a few weeks ago that residents in the Valley View subdivision are angry over sewer fees they've been paying.

After years without a new contract, residents have one in hand. But many aren't happy about it.

The residents say they've been lied to by the city over the years and feel like they've been taken advantage of.

The Valley View Subdivision is just outside Elkhart city limits. Because of that, residents pay more for sewer service than city residents. They say, that's fine, but the three times rate they've been paying for decades has got to stop.

"We think we've been paying more than our fair share for the past 20 years or so and are asking for a little bit of help against that high rate," says Valley View resident Jay Courson.

Now, after asking the city for a new contract, they got one.

They'll pay the city rate plus a $50 compact fee.  The mayor says that goes up $5 every five years for 15 years. Residents say the new deal still isn't fair.

"All in all it's going to be a massive increase five years down the road and that's just unacceptable. We've got people right now in there who I stick up for all the time, our seniors especially, who live on fixed incomes," says Valley View resident Jon Nelson.

Valley View residents say the city should have taken the time to explain the contract to them before forcing them to sign.

They shared their concerns with council members Monday, saying they simply want to sit down with the city and work out a compromise.

"One of our things is to make the compact fee 35 dollars. That helps," says Nelson.

Courson says, "It would be nice of course to go straight city rate, but even if it was just double city rate would be quite a savings for most families."

Mayor Dick Moore says Valley View residents should sign the contract because it's more than fair.

He says the compact fee makes up for the county residents not paying taxes.

"For many of them as I've said, paying the compact is less money than paying the old sewer service agreement which was three times what the city residents paid," says Moore.

Residents are already seeing the drop in their bills.

Nelson says while his bill went down, he wasn't charged the $50 fee because he hasn't signed the contract.

He says he feels threatened by the city in a letter he got Monday.

It says that he will have to pay that back with interest once and if he ever signs the compact.

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