Village residents can comment multiple ways
By John Faucher
The village of Hortonville Water and Sewer Utility has formally filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to increase water rates for its customers.
A notice placed on the village’s website stated the increase is necessary due to a 19 percent increase in gross plant investment, a 27 percent increase in operating expenses since the last water rate case completion in 2007, and revenue bond requirements.
The Village Committee of the Whole held a public question and answer session regarding the rate changes on Thursday, Feb. 4.
At the meeting, Hortonville Public Works Director Carl McCrary explained that the village controls the sewer portion of the utility rate and the PSCW controls the water portion of the utility rate.
In August of 2015, the state informed the village that it needed additional funds for operation and debt service reduction. The village’s revenue bond agreement mandates its wastewater facilities generate 25 percent in annual revenue beyond operating costs and debt payments.
Additionally the increased revenue from a rate increase would help cover future repairs or maintenance without the need to borrow funds.
The village board held a public hearing on a proposed sewer rate increase on Dec. 17.
The board approved the 2016 water sewer budget at its Jan. 7 meeting.
The total increase in water revenues requested is $110,575, which would result in an estimated overall rate increase of 28 percent over the water utility’s present revenues.
If the village’s request to the PSCW is granted, the water bill for an average residential customer who uses 10,000 gallons of water per quarter will increase from $50 to $70, or approximately 41 percent.
Telephonic hearing March 8
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has scheduled a telephonic public hearing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8, in the Municipal Services Center board room (Room 134), located at 531 North Nash Street, Hortonville.
Residents may testify in the proceeding without becoming a party and without attorney representation.
Residents may submit their testimony in a number of ways.
Comments can be submitted at the commission’s website at http://psc.wi.gov, click on the “Public Comments” button and side menu bar. On the next page, select the “File a comment” link that appears for docket number 2610-WR-101. Web comments shall be received no later than the day before the hearing.
Residents can give spoken testimony at the public session.
Instead of speaking at the hearing, residents can write out a comment and submit it at the public session.
Comments submitted by U.S. Mail must be received no later than the day before the hearing and shall be addressed to Attn: Docket 2610-WR-101 Comments, Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 7854, Madison, WI 53707-7854.
The PSCW intends to webcast the hearing live on at http://psc.wi.gov under the “PSC Live Broadcast” button.