I arrived at the Town Hall meeting about 25 min. late. Mr. Coffey had already done his presentation and he had just opened the meeting for public comments.
And comment they did! Many people expressed great concern over a 70% sewer rate increase. One lady said she would have to close her business after 30 years and move to Jeffersonville. A young woman said she just purchased a home and had to work three jobs just to make ends meet. And there were many similar stories.
There was a lot of interesting information given: in the years 2008 and 2009 there was only $69,738.06 collected in sewer liens, per Vicki Denhart. This seems like a small amount considering the huge amount that is owed. Personally I think the city should go after the business owners who owe thousands instead of just the property owner who may owe much less. But every dollar helps.
Mr. Coffey also asked everyone present to attend the council meeting tomorrow night (2/18) and speak in favor of the forensic audit resolution. There should be a long list of public speakers.
It was also mentioned that the previous audits are available on the indiana.gov website, look under "State Board of Accounts", then "audits" then "Floyd County" and then "New Albany". It may take a minute but it should be worth while.
Pat Harrison said that she had spoken with Rep. Ed Clere this evening and he said that he has found a way to reduce the increase to 35%. She said he did not elaborate so there were no further details. That helps but it's still a big increase.
There is another meeting scheduled for April 6, 2010. I don't know the topic but it is sure to be a lively discussion.