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Knightstown Seeks Permission to Hike Water Rate
March 12, 2008 - The town of Knightstown recently petitioned the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for permission to raise the rates and charges of the town's water utility customers 47.8 percent.
According to legal notice the town published in Feb. 27 Banner, the town's water utility filed its request with the IURC on Feb. 19. Permission to seek the increase, which had been recommended by an Indianapolis accounting firm hired to do a rate study, came from a 4-1 vote of the Knightstown Town Council on Jan. 16.
According to H.J. Umbaugh & Associates' rate study, Knightstown's current rates and charges fall about $94,000 short of the estimated $346,815 the water utility needs annually to operate. The town's last water rate increase, according to Umbaugh, was in 1991.
In an effort to save money, the town council directed Umbaugh to utilize a special rate filing procedure for small utilities. This means that unless a request is made by water utility customers, the IURC will not conduct a public hearing on the proposed increase.
The public notice in the Feb. 27 Banner says the IURC will hold a public hearing if one is requested in writing by "any public or municipal corporation, ten (10) individuals, firms, corporations or associations, or ten (10) complainants of all or any of these classes affected by the proposed rate change." The Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor, which represents the interests of utility customers, can also request a public hearing.
Requests for a public hearing on the rate increase must be signed and filed with the IURC within 40 days of the date the town's application for rate change was filed. If the town's application was filed Feb. 19, as stated in its public notice, a request for public hearing would need to be filed with the IURC by Monday, April 28.
Written requests for a public hearing on Knightstown's request for a rate change should be directed to: Secretary, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, National City Center, 101 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 East, Indianapolis, IN 46204. For more information, contact the IURC at (317) 232-2701, or the OUCC toll free at (888) 441-2494.
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