Residents angry despite Mishawaka Utilities payment plan - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Residents angry despite Mishawaka Utilities payment plan

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FOX28 broke the story to you last month about Creekside residents concerned their electric bills were too high, and that they could not afford to make the payments. Electric bills came back for Mishawaka residents, and for electric communities like Creekside Terre Apartments, this month and the bills went up again.

Mishawaka Utilities released a budget plan that will be offered to cover the charges during the months of January through April of 2014. The budget plan does not excuse the total amount owed, but stretches it out over a period of 6 months on top of already existing electric bills.  Qualifications to get on the budget plan are:

  • The renter must have lived at the same location for at least 3 years
  • No shutoff within the last 12 months
  • It pays for the electric service only

3rd District Councilman John Reisdorf, a Creekside Terre resident, says he is very proud of Mishawaka Utilities. He says a town hall meeting was held a month ago where residents could voice their opinion and, a month later, Mishawaka Utilities made a budget plan, which is something the residents asked for.

However, Creekside property manager Cindy Nichols says, "The budget plan is a joke, and was created just to quiet those who complained." She says her residents can't afford the bills from January through April, and to add those on top of future bills is not helping residents whatsoever. She says her bills went up significantly again since we spoke to her in February.

Nichols says she's already had residents move out of the Creekside neighborhood because they couldn't afford the high electric bills. She says the first question asked from potential renters is, "How much are your utility bills?" Nichols says she won't like and tells them for a one bedroom apartment and to live comfortably, it will cost around $200. That's why she says no one even considers moving there.

FOX28 made several calls to Mishawaka Utilities general manager Jim Schrader. Our calls were not returned.

FOX28 spoke to Mishawaka Public Works board member Ken Prince who says they are aware of the complaints given to Mishawaka Utilities from residents. He says the board will review the rate in June, and decide whether the rate will go up or down for the next 6 months.

FOX28 also stopped by Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood's office. He was not available for an interview.

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