Consumers are invited to comment on the request of South Haven Sewer Works, doing business as Aqua Indiana, Inc., for an increase in its rates and charges.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) - the state agency representing consumer interests in all cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) - is accepting written consumer comments for the case record. The OUCC also encourages customers to attend the IURC's upcoming public field hearing in this case, scheduled for Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at Paul Saylor Elementary School (311 Midway Drive, Valparaiso, Indiana).
The field hearing's public comment portion will begin at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.
- Sworn oral and written comments regarding the rate case will be accepted during the field hearing.
- Oral and written consumer comments carry equal weight, and will become part of the official evidentiary record considered by the IURC in reaching its final decision.
- Commissioners are not permitted to answer consumer questions during the formal field hearing. (However, OUCC and IURC staff will be available before, during and after the hearing.)
An OUCC informational session on the regulatory process and public field hearing procedures will start at 5:30 p.m., Central Time.
South Haven Sewer Works is requesting IURC permission to raise its flat, monthly residential sewage disposal rate from $66.89 to $79.90. In its testimony, the utility indicates it is seeking the rate increase due to a number of capital improvements, including identifying and repairing leaking infrastructure. Projects include a new treatment plant operating system, rehabilitation of sewer mains, pump stations, and manholes, a new customer billing system, and new equipment for field crews.
Current rates for South Haven Sewer Works were approved in March 2008. Aqua Indiana, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aqua America, Inc., completed its purchase of South Haven's assets in August 2008.
The OUCC is reviewing South Haven's request and has not yet taken a position in this case. The OUCC is currently scheduled to file testimony on April 21, 2011.
Consumers who are unable to attend the April 6 field hearing are encouraged to submit written comments to the OUCC. The OUCC accepts written comments by mail, fax and 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
All written comments should include the consumer's name, mailing address, and a reference to IURC Cause No. 43974. Comments the OUCC receives by April 15, 2011 will be filed with the IURC to be included in the case's formal evidentiary record.
South Haven Sewer Works provides service to nearly 4,000 customers in Porter County. Rates and charges for customers in other Aqua Indiana service territories are not at issue in this case.
For more information, including links to South Haven's testimony in this case, please visit the OUCC Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2647.htm.
(IURC Cause No. 43974)
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC's mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education, and creative problem solving. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC.