Response to Letter in Indianola Record-Herald, 12 August 2015

Some may have seen the Letter to the Editor in this week’s Indianola Record-Herald. Here is the response that we will be sending to the paper in regards to the issues that were brought forward.

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To the Indianola Record-Herald Editor,

In response to the letter from Mr. Frank Shultz that appeared earlier in this paper:

  1. Avon Lake: As part of the sewer construction extension to the northwest area of the City of Carlisle, sewer was installed in the Avon Lake community to assist an unsewered community with providing a more sanitary method for waste disposal that would benefit the community and the environment. The Avon Lake customers receive sewer service from the City, but no other utility. If a customer is delinquent, the sewer service cannot be disconnected or turned off. There were 11 customers out of 150 that were severely delinquent. There had been some misunderstanding of how to collect on these delinquent accounts. This has recently been cleared up with Polk County, and action has been taken by the City Council to begin collecting on these accounts. The total amount that was delinquent was $21,551, not $100,000. While this situation was worse than it should have been, it was not as severe as Mr. Shultz mentioned. It has been addressed and will continued to be addressed into the future. Also, there was no shortfall in payment on the loans for this project and no transfer took place as any transfer that would have been necessary, would have needed Council approval.
  2. Synergy Case: The City of Carlisle was in arbitration with Synergy because the construction project was handled under the Carlisle Sewer Department. Any additional cost for the project, which is what the final judgement cost is, is paid through the Sewer Department. A five percent increase in the sewer rates is anticipated to pay for the loan taken to assist in paying the judgement cost. While no one is happy about an increase in utility costs, this increase is only slightly higher than what a normal increase would be for rising department costs. Some municipalities have a three percent increase built into their utility rate ordinances to deal with rising costs for personnel, materials, and other utilities that operate the Sewer Department.

The City of Carlisle believes that the extension of the sanitary sewer to the northwest area of the city along with the installation of the sanitary sewer in Avon Lake community was and continues to serve the city well. The project has benefited our neighboring community, the environment, and the City as we see new development take advantage of the new sewer line. Not only do we anticipate more development in the northwest area, but new businesses that are already built in the Gateway and Scotch Ridge Business Park area, such as Peoples Bank, Freedom Storage and the new Casey’s Convenient Store have resulted from this project.

Mayor Ruth Randleman

Andy Lent City Administrator