UPDATE: An IURC order approving the settlement agreement in this case was issued on Mar. 22, 2006.
The OUCC distributed the following fact sheet at the agency's public information meeting and IURC public field hearing on Nov. 21, 2005 in Floyds Knobs, Ind.
OUCC Fact Sheet
Chimneywood Sewage Works, Inc. & Wymberley Sanitary Works, Inc. Rate Case
IURC Cause No. 42877-U
On July 1, 2005, Chimneywood Sewage Works, Inc. and Wymberley Sanitary Works, Inc. filed a petition and application with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) seeking increases in their rates and charges for sewage disposal service. Both utilities serve portions of Floyd County and are wholly owned subsidiaries of Aqua Indiana, Inc.
- Chimneywood serves 28 customers. Its flat, monthly residential sewer rate of $49.60 was approved in 2002.
- Wymberley serves 367 customers and charges flat monthly residential rates of $25.00 and $32.00, varying by subdivision. Wymberley’s current rates were approved in 1986.
- Aqua Indiana is proposing a single, uniform schedule of rates and charges for customers of both utilities, and indicates in testimony that it is seeking the increases to cover higher operating and maintenance costs.
- The company’s request would increase the monthly flat sewer rate for both utilities to $60.00 for one year, and then increase the monthly rate to $80.00 on a permanent basis.
On November 21, 2005, an IURC public field hearing will be held in Floyds Knobs. Consumers will be able to submit testimony in the form of written or oral comments. The comments will become part of the official evidentiary record to be considered by the IURC in reaching its final decision on the utilities’ request. Consumer comments, whether written or oral, are given equal consideration.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is the statutory representative for the interests of all utility customers in this case and in all proceedings before the IURC.
- The OUCC has not yet taken a position in this case but is currently scheduled to file testimony on December 2, 2005.
On January 19, 2006, the IURC is scheduled to hold a technical evidentiary hearing in Indianapolis. The hearing, scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, in Room E306 of the Indiana Government Center - South, is open to the public. However, participation in evidentiary hearings is typically limited to the cross-examination of technical witnesses who have filed testimony on behalf of the proceeding’s formal parties.
All filing deadlines and hearing dates in any legal proceeding are subject to change.
A settlement agreement is possible in any legal proceeding; such an agreement would be subject to IURC approval.
Consumers with questions or concerns about this case or other utility issues are encouraged to contact the OUCC’s consumer services staff through the agency's Website or toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC)
- State agency
- Represents the interests of all utility consumers and the general public on issues concerning electric, natural gas, water, sewer and telecommunications utilities
- Staff of accountants, engineers, economists, attorneys, consumer services and support personnel
- Participates in regulatory and legal proceedings
- Provides consumers with a voice in utility policy
- Responds to consumer questions and information needs
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC)
- State agency
- Regulates many, but not all, Indiana utilities
- Regulates utility rates, financing, service territory, quality, etc.
- Required by law to make decisions that balance the interests of utilities and consumers
- Neutral, fact-finding body
- Authority to investigate utility rates and practices
Information Meeting and Public Field Hearing:
What is the difference?
Public Information Meeting
- Facilitated by the OUCC
- Opportunity for attorney (OUCC) and client (consumers) discussion
- Opportunity for consumers to advise OUCC staff of concerns
- Provides an opportunity for consumers to ask questions and receive information
- Opportunity for consumers to make written comments that can be entered into the official record considered by the IURC in its decision
Public Field Hearing
- Conducted by the IURC
- Formal, legal proceeding presided over by an Administrative Law Judge and recorded by a court reporter
- Often required by law
- Conducted in utility’s service territory
- Allows consumers to make sworn written or oral comments on the utility’s proposal, its service and any other relevant issue
- Not a question and answer/discussion format; designed to allow consumer comment
- Consumers providing oral comments may, at the conclusion of their testimony, be asked questions by judge, commissioners or an attorney for any formal party to the proceeding
- Comments are part of the official public record considered by the IURC in making its decision
Prepared by the OUCC
100 North Senate Avenue, Room N501
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2215
Voice/TDD (317) 232-2494
Fax (317) 232-5923