Updated: Monday, 19 Apr 2010, 7:09 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 19 Apr 2010, 4:28 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The push is on to raise Indianapolis water rates. Monday the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) initiated a two-week hearing on a proposed 34 percent rate hike.
Many Indianapolis water customers are unaware of what's coming down the pipeline.
"I don't really know the reason behind it but I'm happy to pay a little extra," said Indianapolis customer Ian Sando.
Under the proposal, the city's hike would raise $111 million that would pay for capital improvements.
The proposed rate increase would affect the water company’s over one million customers.
Here's the bottom line: a 34 percent rate increase translates into an extra $8 a month in water charges. That assumes you use 700 cubic feet of water a month or 5,200 gallons.
But there is a counter proposal.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), a state agency that represents consumer interests, is asking for the proposed rate increase to be lowered from 34 percent to 21 percent.
"We've taken the position the utility is entitled to a portion of the increase it has requested. We do agree with the need for capital improvements, and there are a number of them," said OUCC spokesperson Anthony Swinger.
During the two-week hearing, more than a dozen witnesses will testify. Utility Regulatory commissioners will then make a final rate hike decision.
"Rate cases can typically take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. That is typically due to the amount of information, amount of evidence that is filed with the commission," said IURC spokesperson Danielle McGrath.
While there is no deadline for a final decision, Waterworks Executive Director Matthew Klein told Inside Indiana Business that he expects a decision sometime this summer.