Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

September 29, 2013

Rural communities struggle to pay for wastewater projects

Rural communities struggle to pay for wastewater projects

(Continued)

Marilyn Jackson, president of the town council, said she believes citizens need to be responsible for keeping waterways clean and she understood the need for a new system in Macy.

But, she said, the state had little consideration for how the town funded the project, and didn’t have much sympathy for low-income residents, who Jackson said struggle to pay the new bill.

“They don’t care if you can afford it or not,” she said. “It’s almost like taxation without representation. The government is far removed from Macy, Indiana, but we have to deal with their regulations every day.”

IDEM’s Pigott said he does understand the impact rural sewer projects have on small communities, but in the end, clean water has its price.

“I know there’s a sense of sticker shock when people get the bill,” he said. “I understand that. It’s expensive, especially for people with a limited income. But think about what you’re getting. You flush the toilet and it goes away, it’s cleaned up and it enters our waterways clean.

“It is expensive, but clean water is worth it,” Pigott said. “It’s an extremely valuable resource.”

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

The Clean Water Act as it is now became law in 1972. It creates the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into U.S. waters, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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