NWI water rate increase will get hearing in Gary

2014-03-18T08:00:00Z 2014-04-10T14:56:04Z NWI water rate increase will get hearing in GaryBy Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will conduct a public hearing on Indiana American Water Co.'s request for a rate hike at 6 p.m. April 10 in Common Council Chambers, Gary City Hall, 401 Broadway.

Indiana American Water made its request in January, asking the IURC to allow it to hike rates to pay for $221 million in improvement projects across the state, including replacing aging pipes and treatment plant projects.

The change in customers' bills will vary by region under the water company's proposal. In Northwest Indiana, customer bills would increase 17.2 percent under the proposal.

All comments made by the public at the hearing will become part of the IURC's evidentiary record in the case. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor will host an informational session on the rate request at 5:30 p.m.

The company's proposal would increase its annual operating revenue by $19.6 million, or about 9.8 percent. The IURC will rule on the request by November.

The city of Crown Point and town of Schererville have both intervened in the case.

The rate increase would apply to direct customers of Indiana American Water in Gary, Hobart, Merrillville, Chesterton, Burns Harbor, Portage, Porter, South Haven, and Winfield. It will also apply to those in the Shorewood Forest subdivision and White Oak conservancy district west of Valparaiso.

Other rate increases would apply for businesses, industries and municipalities that receive Indiana American Water's wholesale services. Those communities include Schererville, Crown Point, Lake Station, New Chicago, Ogden Dunes and Indiana Water Services Inc., which serves parts of Merrillville and Schererville.

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