For immediate release: Feb 22, 2008
Posted by: [OUCC]
Contact: Anthony Swinger
Phone: (317) 233-2747

Eastern Bartholomew Water rate case: State utility consumer advocate accepting public comments

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is inviting public comments as it reviews the request of Eastern Bartholomew Water Corporation for an increase in its rates and charges.

The OUCC - the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) - has not yet taken a position on the utility's request but is currently scheduled to complete its review and file testimony in this case on Friday, April 11. Consumers who wish to provide written comments on the case in the meantime may submit them to the OUCC's consumer services staff via mail, e-mail or fax.

Current base water rates for Eastern Bartholomew - a non-profit entity with more than 4,800 customers in Bartholomew and Jennings Counties - were approved in 1992. The utility's pending proposal would increase the monthly residential water bill for a customer using 5,000 gallons from $21.67 to $24.59. Eastern Bartholomew is also seeking IURC authorization to issue up to $5.3 million in long-term debt.

In its testimony, Eastern Bartholomew states that the additional revenues and financing would pay for capital improvements while also covering increases in operating and maintenance costs. The utility plans to install larger distribution and transmission mains throughout its service territory, including main replacements in certain areas, new mains and looping projects (connections of mains that currently dead-end). Other infrastructure improvements the utility proposes include a new storage and maintenance building, the purchase of land for a new wellfield, new fire hydrants, new backup power generators, meter replacements, and vehicle and machinery replacements, along with well cleaning, pump maintenance and tank cleaning and painting.

The OUCC needs to receive all written consumer comments in this case no later than Monday, April 7. Comments should include the consumer's name, address, and a reference to "IURC Cause No. 43392," and can be submitted by mail, fax or the Internet:

Additional information on this case, including the utility's testimony, is available on the OUCC Website. Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC's consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.

Additional information on the regulatory process and other utility consumer topics - including tips for saving money on water and energy bills - is available on the OUCC Website or by calling the agency toll-free.

 

(IURC Cause No. 43392)

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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