UPDATE: IURC orders in these cases were issued on January 16, 2008. For more information, click here.
Two public events are scheduled for Monday, November 5 regarding Kingsbury Utility Corporation's requests for increases in its water and sewer rates. Both events will take place at Kingsbury Elementary School, 802 W. 400 S., LaPorte, Indiana:
- At 5:30 p.m., local time, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) will conduct an information meeting to discuss the regulatory process and describe public field hearing procedures.
- At 6:00 p.m., local time, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) will conduct a formal public field hearing to accept oral and written consumer comments. The comments will become part of the evidentiary record considered by the IURC in reaching its final decision in these cases. Commissioners are not permitted to answer consumer questions during the formal field hearing.
Under the utility's request, the water bill for an average residential customer using 5,000 gallons per month would increase from $17.55 to $24.46. The monthly sewer bill for a customer with the same usage would increase from $16.50 to $36.49. Current rates for Kingsbury Utility Corporation - a privately owned utility serving nearly 100 customers in LaPorte County - were approved in April 2006.
The OUCC - the state agency representing consumer interests in IURC proceedings - has recommended that Kingsbury's monthly residential water rate for 5,000 gallons be limited to $18.78, while limiting the proposed sewer rate increase for the same usage to no more than $33.20.
While the OUCC is recommending the approval of lower rates than what the utility has requested, the OUCC agrees that the utility is entitled to additional revenues to pay for a number of infrastructure improvements. The improvements are necessary to ensure compliance with state and federal environmental laws. Kingsbury's sewage system projects include lift station upgrades and a new aerobic digester that are now in service, along with removal of digester sludge from the utility's property. Regarding the water system, the OUCC recommends a series of steps to reduce Kingsbury's levels of unaccounted-for water. The agency also recommends the immediate replacement of an inoperable fire hydrant in the Deerfield Estates mobile home community. In its filings, the OUCC recommends that the rate increases be suspended if certain improvements are not made by specific deadlines.
All filings in this case are available for public review on the IURC Website (www.in.gov/iurc), by visiting http://www.in.gov/iurc/portal/Tab.aspx?tabid=28&dn=SEARCHDOCKETEDCASE and entering docket number 43296 for the sewer case or 43297 for the water case.
Consumers who are unable to attend the November 5 events are encouraged to submit written comments to the OUCC in advance. Comments should include the consumer's name, address, and a reference to IURC Cause Nos. 43296-U & 43297-U. Consumers can send comments to the OUCC by mail, fax or the Internet:
- Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204
- Fax: (317) 232-5923
- E-mail: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov
- OUCC Website: www.IN.gov/OUCC
Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC's consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.
(IURC Cause Nos. 43296-U, 43297-U)
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is the state agency that represents residential and business consumer interests in cases before state and federal utility regulatory commissions. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC.
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