The public is being invited to comment on a water rate increase proposed by the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility (EWSU).
EWSU proposed the rate increase back in May and said it would fund the replacement of the city's Water Treatment Plant - but before the rate increase is approved or denied by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), written comments will be accepted and reviewed.
Written comments from the public on the proposed increase will be accepted until Friday, Aug. 13.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is the state agency representing consumer interests in this case. On Aug. 20, the OUCC will file testimony and will use comments submitted by the public as evidence in the case.
"The OUCC's attorneys and technical staff are reviewing the city's request, and we have until Aug. 20 to file testimony," said Anthony Swinger with the OUCC. "Any written consumer comments we receive before Aug. 13 will be included in our filing - that way, your comments will become evidence in the case."
There are four ways to submit your comment on the proposed water rate increase:
- On the OUCC's website.
- By emailing uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov.
- By mail.
- In-person at a public field hearing on Aug. 4.
If you'd like to send your comment by mail, you should send your letter addressed to:
Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC)
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 SOUTH
Indianapolis, IN 46204
All written comments should include the consumer’s name, mailing address, and a reference to either “IURC Cause No. 45545” or Evansville Municipal Water.
The IURC is scheduled to hold a public field hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at USI at 8600 University Boulevard. That hearing will begin at 6:00 p.m. CT in the Mitchell Auditorium. Oral comments during the hearing will become part of the case record and will carry the same weight as written comments.
Anyone with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC’s consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.
The city held a public comment meeting in April to hear from the community on the project, but only two people attended. Both were in support of the investment in the city's infrastructure.
For an EWSU customer using around 5,000 gallons of water per month, the rate increase would add around $3 on each monthly bill each year from 2022 through 2026. (Proposed Water Rate Adjustment Chart).