The Knox Board of Public Works members discussed a water bill issue concerning Hoosier Custom Plastics during their meeting Wednesday morning.
Knox Mayor Rick Chambers and Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that business owner Gordon Schenk reported an unusually high bill for July and was hoping the City of Knox would reduce the bill.
Hoosier Custom Plastics has two water bills. One bill is for domestic use that includes a 5/8 line for the restrooms and water faucets. This is for water and wastewater and that bill averages $116 a month.
The second bill is for a two-inch line which is used to cool production machines and is not connected to the city’s wastewater system. Over the Fourth of July holiday, a valve on this line was not shut off and the bill for the month was $934.89.
Usually in these types of cases, the customer is given a break on the wastewater part of the bill, but the second line is not connected to a sewer line. The water evaporates in a cooling tower within the facility.
It was explained that water is a commodity as the city has to pump and filter the water. The city can not make an adjustment on a water bill, according to Indiana code and ordinances.
By the recommendation of City Attorney David Matsey, the board voted not to credit Hoosier Custom Plastics on the water portion of the bill as it would violate state statute. The board members expressed that it was an unfortunate occurrence, but state statute must be followed.