TWP. — The approximately 3,000 United Water customers in Dallas
and Kingston Township may face a rate increase of up to 32
However, nobody showed up at the Kingston
Township building Thursday to oppose — or approve — the
proposed rate hike at a public hearing presided over by
Administrative Law Judge Kandace F. Melillo.
In January, Harrisburg-based United Water asked the state Public
Utility Commission for a $6.7 million overall rate increase, its
first since 1997, to be spread out over the approximately 54,000
industrial and residential customers in eight counties.
“That’s what the company has asked for, but the PUC still has
to review the proposal. In the vast majority of cases, the company
does not get the full amount,” said attorney Edward Lanza of
Saul Ewing, the Harrisburg law firm representing United Water.
The increase was suspended until after the PUC investigation. If
it is granted, the average resident’s bill will go up from
$28.40 a month to $35.96.
The $6.7 million is necessary for improvements throughout the
company’s service area, including a computerized monitoring and
control system, United Water vice president John Hollenbach said.
In Luzerne County, there are 11 wells to maintain, including a new
one that was installed at a cost of just under $750,000, United
Water public relations director Bob Manbeck said.
State Rep. Phyllis Mundy, D-Kingston, who requested the hearing,
stated that a 32 percent rate increase “is excessive and
unfairly impacts Kingston Township residents.”