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United Water New Rochelle proposes to raise revenues 40% in first of three year hikes

The State Public Service Commission will conduct two public statement hearings on Tuesday, April 5 to receive comments on United Water New Rochelle Inc.'s request for approval of a rate plan that would increase revenues by $12.7 million over three years and would include additional surcharges to cover expenses related to specific infrastructure projects.

The company states the proposed increase and surcharges are needed to cover higher operating expenses, property taxes and the cost of its plan to continue extensive improvements to the water system infrastructure.

Under the company's proposal, revenues collected in base rates would increase by $8.4 million or 40 percent in the first year, $1.9 million or 6.5 percent in year two, and $2.4 million or 7.8 percent in the final year of the rate plan. In addition to the proposed base rate increases, the company is requesting the approval of two separate surcharges to cover the costs of expanding and improving water plant infrastructure.

The first proposed surcharge would recover approximately $40 million in costs associated with the Delaware Interconnection Project, which will secure a new source of water supply to comply with State and Federal water quality regulations. The company also proposes to continue the surcharge associated with its Long Term Main Renewal Program, which is a 30-year program for systematically renewing and replacing aged distribution mains. If approved, both surcharges, in addition to the base rate increases, will result in bill impacts of approximately 44 percent in the first year, 10 percent in the second year, and 29 percent in the final year of proposed rate plan for the average residential customer.

The hearings will be at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5, 2005 at the Ryan Auditorium, Ryan Library, Iona College, 715 North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York 10801.