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Hearing Scheduled in Water Company Rate Request

A public hearing will be held Dec. 12 at Milford Town Hall on an application by the Milford Water Company for an 83 percent rate increase.

How do you feel about a near-doubling of your water bill?

Strong feelings either way? Then save the date of Dec. 12.

This is your chance to tell state officials what you think of the proposal put forward by the Milford Water Company. The state Department of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing, at Milford Town Hall, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

The hearing is the first step in a lengthy process to determine whether the rate increase sought by the water utility company should be approved.

In a filing made with the state DPU in October, the Milford Water Co. is seeking an 83 percent rate increase, for residential, commercial, industrial and town customers.

Milford officials are planning to challenge the rate request. Special town meeting voters recently approved a request for $20,000 to bolster the legal services account, including to pay for expert witnesses.

According to an exhibit in the Water Company filing, the "typical" quarterly bills for residential customers would increase from $77.31 to $141.79. The utility reported it has 32,000 homes on 5/8'' pipes, the largest share of the customer base.

The company, in its filing, argues that the rate increase is necessary to cover the cost in constructing a

"Based on a review of the company's revenues, expenses and investment in rate base as of the test-year period July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, coupled with the [Milford Water Company's] ongoing efforts related to the construction of a new water treatment facility, the company has determined that its rate levels are not sufficient to provide the company with a reasonable opportunity to recover the costs incurred to provide water service to customers," wrote the utility's attorney, Jon Bonsall.

The rate increase, if approved, would result in an increase in revenue for the company of $3.8 million a year.

To construct the new water plant, the company obtained aAt that time, the town challenged the size of the loan, noting that it would impact customers through what was then thought to be a request for a 50 percent rate increase.

Deb November 12, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Let's hope that attendance is high on this Dec 12 meeting. For all of you (including myself) who do not want to see our rates go sky high, it is our responsibility to let our voices be heard at this meeting!
Lisa Vasile November 12, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Doubling our cost is insane! Especially since we still have no guarantee that this system is going to work immediately or long term with the corroded pipes, etc. Back to the PUBLIC at the mercy of a privately family owned Water Company.
repete November 12, 2012 at 06:47 PM
How many workers at the new water plant are from milford.
Lauri Gray November 12, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I agree with Ted above. After the 1st year, the Water company will make astronomical profits, will they lower the rates then? I doubt it! Why should we get whacked all @ once? They're being way too greedy!
Ted Grevers November 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM
http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/164959766982826/?bookmark_t=group Please share this link with your friends and neighbors. We need to bring awareness to the upcoming town meeting - and let the Milford Water Company know that the residents of Milford DO NOT AGREE with the rate increase.

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