Sugar Creek Utility rate case: OUCC accepting public comments
Public hearing and meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 15
Two public events are scheduled for Wednesday, April 15, 2009 regarding the request of Sugar Creek Utility Company, Inc. for increases in its water and sewer rates and charges. Both events will be held at Greenfield Middle School, 204 W. Park Ave., Greenfield, Indiana:
- At 5:30 p.m., the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) will conduct an information meeting to describe public field hearing procedures and to discuss the utility regulatory process.
- 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 in the case. The comments will become part of the evidentiary record considered by the IURC in reaching its final decision in the case. Commissioners are not permitted to answer consumer questions during the formal field hearing.
Current rates for Sugar Creek Utility Company - a privately owned utility providing water and sewage disposal service to approximately 80 residential consumers and one commercial customer in west-central Hancock County - have been in effect since 2000. Sugar Creek states in testimony that it is seeking rate changes due to increases in operating and maintenance costs, while also seeking to recover costs related to the current owner's 1995 acquisition of the utility's assets.
The utility is requesting IURC permission to increase its flat, monthly residential sewer rate from $51.75 to $67.00 while presenting two scenarios for a water rate increase. Under one scenario, the flat, monthly residential water rate would increase from $17.25 to $42.93. Under a second scenario, the utility would also implement an extensive capital improvement project that would include a new main and the installation of shutoff valves to each residence. The utility's flat residential water rate under the second scenario would increase to $64.05 per month.
The OUCC - the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the IURC - has not yet taken a position on the utility's rate request, pending as IURC Cause No. 43579, but currently anticipates filing testimony on April 9, 2009.
In addition to the rate case, the IURC is formally investigating Sugar Creek's operations and billing practices in Cause No. 43534. Testimony filed in the investigation is available on the OUCC Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2549.htm.
Customers who are not able to attend the April 15 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. 43579," and can be submitted 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
For additional information on this case, including a copy of the utility's testimony, visit the OUCC Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2549.htm. Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC's consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.
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(IURC Cause No. 43579)
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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