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New Auburn, Wisc seeks 164 % water rate hike

BY THE CHIPPEWA HERALD

An average water bill could soar 164 percent under a proposed increase being sought by the New Auburn Municipal Water Utility.

The utility's request will go before Wisconsin Public Service Corporation in a public hearing conducted over the telephone. People will be able to listen to the hearing at 9 a.m., Tuesday in the main meeting room of the village hall, 130 E. Elm St.

“The increase is necessary due to a 306 percent increase in gross plant investment and a 70 percent increase in operating expenses since the last water increase in 2000,” said a press release from the village.

“If the request is granted, the water bill of an average residential customer with a 5/8-inch or 3/4-inch meter who uses 11,000 gallons of water per quarter will increase from $37.33 to $75.10, or 101 percent,” the village said.

A $23.37 per quarter surcharge to pay for $20,000 annually for public fire protection will be tacked onto bills. So the overall water bill of an average residential customer with a 5/8-inch or 3/4-inch meter and using 11,000 gallons of water per quarter will increase from $37.33 to $98.46. That's a total increase of 164 percent.

If the request is granted, the utility will see an increase of $72,767, a 140 percent increase from the utility's current revenue.

Scheduling questions about Tuesday's hearing may be made to the PSC at (608) 266-3766. 

If you have a question about the proposed increase, call PSC Docket Coordinator Thomas McDonald at (608) 266-7236 or Administrative Law Judge David C. Whitcomb at (608) 261-8522. Mention docket number 4080-WR-101.