Fillmore water consumers are invited express their comments on a proposed water rate increase to the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor by mail, fax, or the Internet before Tuesday, Dec. 12.
The OUCC, the state agency representing consumer interests in all cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, had received a request from the Fillmore Municipal Water Utility to increase its rates and charges.
The OUCC had not yet taken a position on the town's request but currently anticipates completing its review and filing its written report on Wednesday, Dec. 13.
Fillmore's municipal water utility -- which serves more than 200 customers in Putnam County -- is seeking its first base rate increase since 1998. For an average residential customer who uses 5,000 gallons per month, the town's proposal would increase the monthly water bill from $34.25 to $42.30.
The town is seeking the changes to cover increased operating and maintenance costs, and also to pay for capital improvements including fire hydrant and meter replacements.
Fillmore had applied for the rate increase using the state's Small Utility Filing Procedure. This procedure is available to utilities with fewer than 5,000 customers and is designed to reduce the time and expense involved with regulatory filings.
Interested consumers can review a copy of the utility's filing at the Putnam County Public Library.
"Written consumer comments are important to our review process," said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor Susan L. Macey, noting that Indiana law designates the OUCC as a formal party to all IURC cases. "While our legal and technical case teams closely review every proposal before the IURC, consumer comments frequently help us in understanding issues at the local level."
Consumer comments can be mailed to Consumer Services Staff, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, 100 N. Senate Ave. Room N501, Indianapolis, 46204. Comments can also be faxed to (317) 232-5923 or emailed at uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov.
Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC's consumer service staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.
Additional information on the regulatory process and other utility consumer topics -- including tips for saving money on water and energy bills -- is available on the OUCC website at www.IN.gov/OUCC or by calling the agency toll-free.