For immediate release: Aug 20, 2009
Posted by: [OUCC]
Contact: Anthony Swinger
Phone: (317) 233-2747

North Dearborn 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 North Dearborn Water Corporation's request for changes to its rates and financing.

The OUCC - the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) - is reviewing the utility's request and has not yet taken a position in this case. Currently, the OUCC anticipates completing its review and filing testimony with the Commission on September 11, 2009.

According to its testimony before the IURC, the utility is requesting additional revenues to cover increases in operating and maintenance costs and to pay for proposed infrastructure improvements, including a new 500,000 gallon elevated storage tank (to replace a tank that has been in use since 1963), new mains, and other improvements.

Current rates for North Dearborn Water Corporation, a not-for-profit utility serving Dearborn, Ripley and Franklin Counties, were approved in 2000. The utility's pending request, if approved, would increase the monthly charges for a residential customer using 5,000 gallons from $30.90 to $36.40.

In this case, the utility is requesting authority to issue up to $1.03 million in long-term debt. The utility's proposal also includes a $688,000 federal grant through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).

An IURC technical evidentiary hearing in this case is currently scheduled for September 21, 2009 in Indianapolis. 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. A settlement agreement is possible in any legal proceeding; the OUCC attempts to reach a fair settlement for customers in all rate cases.

Consumers who wish to submit written comments in this case may do so via mail, fax, or the Internet:

Written comments should include the consumer's name, mailing address, and a reference to "IURC Cause No. 43736." The OUCC needs to receive all comments in this case no later than September 7, 2009.

Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC's consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494. For additional information on this case, including a copy of the utility's testimony, please visit the OUCC Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2567.htm.

The OUCC's Website also offers a number of utility consumer publications at no charge, including tips for saving water and energy, along with a guide to the regulatory process.

 

(IURC Cause No. 43736)

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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