Elkhart Councilman proposes new sewer compact agreement - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Elkhart Councilman proposes new sewer compact agreement

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The debate rages on, and there's a new kink thrown into the Elkhart Sewer dispute.

An Elkhart City Councilman proposed a new sewer compact agreement for businesses and residents who use the city's sewer service, but are outside city limits.

Councilman David Henke is suggesting those users pay 15% on top of what city residents pay, plus a plan to annex some of those properties into the city.

Henke says his proposal won't create as much money as Mayor Dick Moore's, but the money will come back to the city.

"Taking the money out of their left hand and minimizing business all around us or leaving the money in business hands, let them expand and grow the economy and we get them on sales tax, property tax, employment tax. The government will get its money," says Henke.

County business owners support Henke's plan.

"This is critical to us. Thirty-five year member of this community and employer of many city residents, that something like this or something that looks like this gets passed," says Dennis Mitchell with Pro Air.

After pushback from the community, Mayor Dick Moore scaled back his original proposal which would be the in-city rate, plus 75% of the assessed value of the property using the service to 50%. Now his task force is recommending 35%.

"It's really 35 percent of the taxes you would pay if you were located inside the city. That's what the final bottom line is," says Moore.

Moore plans to propose that ordinance at the next council meeting on the 17th.

Henke says he's willing to meet the Mayor halfway, as long as the percentage isn't based on assessed value. The Mayor is standing firm saying the people of Elkhart deserve more than 15 percent for providing service to people outside city limits.

"The recommendation of the task force comes pretty close to where I think it ought to be. So there's not a lot of room for more negotiations as far as I'm concerned."

Henke's proposal passed a preliminary vote Tuesday, but still has a ways to go.

Henke says the Council will likely have to choose between the two proposals.

The Mayor does have veto power.

 

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