Huntertown has added an additional month that residents can collect a sprinkling credit for water consumption each year.

Town Council approved an amendment to an ordinance passed in 2012 to extend the sprinkling credit through September each year for a total of five months beginning in May.

The credit was established as a way to help reduce rates during the summer months for residents who consume large amounts of water either through watering their lawns or filling pools. Residents who don’t have a separate water meter installed for sprinkling purposes could previously receive a credit for the sewer rate on the utility bills for July 1, Aug. 1 and Sept. 1, which accounts for water consumption roughly between May 11 and Aug. 10 each year. The sewer rate for anyone who applies for the credit is based on the average water usage from their Jan. 1, Feb. 1 and March 1 utility bills (consumption from approximately Nov. 10 to Feb. 10) or the lower consumption.

The credit period has now been extended to water usage through Sept. 10 and will also apply to Oct. 1 utility bills.

Several residents had asked members of the Utility Service Board to consider extending the sprinkling credit period when they noticed a significant increase in their utility costs later in the year.

“That was our biggest concern from a lot of those residents last year was how much they got hammered in these later months,” council member Mike Aker said.

The Utility Service Board had previously considered simply moving the start date from May to June. However, Town Council members voted 4-1 on Jan. 4 to add an extra month to the effective period. Council member Pat Freck voted against the measure, stating she didn’t agree with continuing to offer the credit in May.

“It’s the people that are filling their pools and doing all that. That’s all in May — that’s why everybody, when we started this sprinkler credit, wanted it to start in May,” said council member Gary Grant, who has been elected council president for 2021.

Any resident wishing to qualify for the sprinkling credit must make a written request to the town. Forms can be found by visiting huntertown.org and clicking “Town Utilities” at the top of the page. Forms must be signed and sent to the Town Hall at P.O. Box 188, Huntertown, IN 46748, or via email at utility.office@huntertown.in.gov. The form only needs to be submitted once in order to qualify each summer.

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