Stink over sewer/water billing

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor on July 11 filed a complaint against the Sugar Creek Utility Co. Inc. over rates and billing practices for water and sewer service.

The utility serves Riley Village, an 84-lot manufactured housing community in Greenfield, and Heartland Resort, a 280-site camping park and golf course affiliated with the utility through common ownership.

The OUCC alleges that the Riley Village Homeowners Association has become the utility’s “unwilling and uncompensated” billing and collection agent.

The complaint filed with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission further alleges that the homeowner’s association, to prevent interruption of service, “has been forced to cover any shortfall due to non-payment by any of the utility’s individual residential customers, and thus has become the utility’s unwilling guarantor of full payment.”

The OUCC also contends that customers of the Heartland Resort pay onethird less than what Greenfield-based Sugar Creek charges at Riley Village. The agency wants Sugar Creek to bill Riley customers individually and for Heartland customers to pay more.

Sugar Creek had not yet prepared a response to the OUCC complaint. But John Salis, president of Sugar Creek and Heartland, said the cost of individually billing Riley’s 84 customers would drive up expenses and could raise rates.

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