Two public events will take place on Thursday, June 5 regarding the request of LMH Utilities Corp. for an increase in its rates for sewage disposal service. Both events will take place at Sunman-Dearborn Intermediate School, 27560 Old State Route 1, West Harrison, Indiana:
- At 5:30 p.m., 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., the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) will conduct a formal public field hearing to accept oral and written consumer comments, which will become part of the evidentiary record considered by the IURC in reaching its final decision. Commissioners are not permitted to answer consumer questions during the formal field hearing.
LMH is a privately owned utility providing sewage disposal service to more than 1,100 customers in Dearborn County (Miller and Harrison Townships). LMH's pending request - if approved - would increase the sewer bill for a residential customer using 5,000 gallons per month from $38.55 to $67.64. In its testimony before the IURC, LMH states that it is seeking the increase due to a recent capacity expansion and other capital improvements at its treatment plant, in addition to higher operating and maintenance costs.
Current rates for LMH were approved in 1998, though the utility sought a rate increase in 2006 in IURC Cause No. 43022. In the 2006 case, the OUCC and LMH reached a settlement that would have provided a substantially smaller increase than what LMH had proposed. However, the IURC issued an order rejecting the settlement and directing the utility to work cooperatively with the OUCC to address the concerns the OUCC raised in the proceeding, which included the need for LMH to establish appropriate accounting records.
The OUCC has taken no position yet on the utility's pending proposal and is conducting accounting audits and engineering analyses as part of its ongoing review. OUCC testimony in this case is currently due June 10.
Consumers who are unable to attend the June 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 No. 43431. 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
Additional information on this case, including a link to the utility's testimony, is available on the OUCC Website at www.in.gov/oucc/3349.htm. The utility's testimony can also be reviewed at the Lawrenceburg Public Library and the North Dearborn Branch Library. Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC's consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.
Additional information about the regulatory process and other utility consumer topics is available on the OUCC Website or by calling the agency toll-free.
(IURC Cause No. 43431)
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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