UPDATE: An IURC order in this case was issued on Sept. 28, 2006, approving a settlement agreement between the OUCC and Morgan County Rural Water Corp.
OUCC News Release, issued June 9, 2006:
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is reviewing the proposal of Morgan County Rural Water Corporation to increase its rates and charges. The OUCC, the state agency representing consumer interests in all cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), has not yet taken a position on the utility's request but is currently scheduled to file testimony on Wednesday, August 2. Consumers who wish to provide written comments on the proposal may submit them to the OUCC's consumer services staff via mail, e-mail or fax.
Morgan County Rural Water Corp. is a non-profit utility serving more than 2,800 customers in central, western and northern Morgan County - including the communities of Eminence, Monrovia, Wakeland and Whitaker - and a small portion of northeastern Owen County. The utility is seeking a two-phase rate increase that would raise the water bill for a typical residential customer using 5,000 gallons per month from $37.55 to $42.90 in the first phase, and to $52.00 in the second phase. Rates for customers with the same usage who live in the utility's Western Expansion area would increase from $47.29 to $52.64 in phase one, then to $61.74 in phase two. Morgan County Rural Water Corp. is also requesting permission to issue up to approximately $5.8 million in long-term debt. The utility's current rates were approved in March 2004.
The utility indicates in testimony that it is requesting the changes to pay for a number of proposed capital improvements - including a new wholesale connection to the City of Indianapolis water system, improvements to existing mains, new standby generation facilities for the utility's existing wellfield, treatment plant and booster stations, and a new elevated storage tank along County Road 375W near Whippoorwill Lake.
An IURC evidentiary hearing is currently scheduled for Tuesday, August 29 in Indianapolis, at the Indiana Government Center - South. While evidentiary hearings are open to the public, participation is typically limited to attorney and Commission questioning of technical witnesses that have filed testimony on behalf of the proceeding's formal parties.
All hearing and filing dates are subject to change, and a settlement agreement is possible in any legal proceeding. While such a settlement would be subject to IURC approval, the OUCC attempts to reach a fair agreement for residential and business consumers in each IURC case.
A consumer who wishes to provide written comments in this case should do so by August 2 and include his or her name and address, along with a reference to "IURC Cause No. 42993." The OUCC accepts written consumer comments by mail, fax and the Internet:
- Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
100 N. Senate Ave., Room N501
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2215
- 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. In addition, the OUCC offers a number of free publications on utility consumer issues - including a summary of the state regulatory process and tips for reducing water and energy bills. All OUCC publications are available on the agency's Website or by calling the agency toll-free.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is the state agency that represents utility consumer interests before state and federal regulatory and legal bodies. Residential, commercial and industrial consumers with questions regarding utility service are encouraged to contact the OUCC toll-free at 1-888-441-2494 or online at www.IN.gov/OUCC.
(IURC Cause No. 42993)
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