Sewage Talk

By:  Diane Benjamin

Everybody likes to talk sewage!  Sure, let’s call it BNWRD instead:  Bloomington Normal Water Reclamation District.

The first plant opened in 1920, prior to that sewage was dumped in Sugar Creek.  That came from a discussion I had yesterday with Randy Stein the Executive Director and Tim Ervin the Asst Executive Director/Admin Office.

See all the previous stories linked in this one:  https://blnnews.com/2020/01/28/more-bnwrd/

If your house is connected to the sewer system you should be getting billed monthly based on water used by BNWRD, that charge is on your water bill.  There should also be a line item on your property tax bill to BNWRD.

In previous stories I showed people getting billed by BNWRD because their property was never annexed to the district.  Some of that was by failure to document when a subdivision was built and some by people no longer using a septic system and connecting to the sewer system.  There could be other reasons too.  Keep in mind, these long time property owners were forced to pay even though it wasn’t their fault.  The rates were discounted however.

What about houses not being charged monthly?

This note in the minutes of  March 11, 2019 meeting required me to investigate!

PDF page 13 minutes 2019 Bloomington failure to charge

That is a HUGE amount of accounts not being billed!

It wasn’t only me looking at these numbers, BNWRD did too.  Some of the addresses were connected to City Water but were on a septic system instead of the sewer.  Some were irrigation meters, there are many 2-meter houses so total water usage isn’t billed for sewer, storm water, and BNWRD when the owner is merely watering the grass.

From our conversation yesterday, BNWRD thinks they have 20-50 addresses that should have been charged but weren’t.  They do not plan to bill these people retroactively.

They did find one property who had been billed since 2009 but shouldn’t have been.  They received a refund of $641.92 according to emails I received by FOIA from the City of Bloomington.

Stop here for a minute:

Stan Nord paid a bill that wasn’t his fault – it should have been paid by previous owners

Judy Stearns paid property taxes when it was the Assessor’s fault she had multiple homestead exemptions.  We don’t know if the 100’s of others with multiple exemptions were allowed to just change the status of properties or if they paid.

The people that weren’t annexed into the BNWRD district paid – it wasn’t their fault.

The people that should have been paying will not be billed retroactively.

It must depend on how difficult it is to calculate how much you owe.  Since the BNWRD charge is based on water usage, those numbers would have to be obtained.  The funny part is I have that information.  It was included in the FOIA from the City of Bloomington.  BNWRD asked for usage on numerous properties.  Bloomington just printed it out and sent it to them.

One final point to this story:

When BNWRD is done auditing Bloomington, Normal is next.

The stories will continue . . . .

 

 

 

 

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