IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION FROM THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has scheduled two hearings to gather public input on the proposed rate increases for water and wastewater services by Community Utilities of Pennsylvania Inc. (Community Utilities), serving residents and businesses in portions of Monroe and Northampton counties.
The hearings will be held at the following locations and times:
Monday, July 15, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.
Penn Estates Community Center
443 Penn Estates Drive
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
Monday, July 15, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
Hanover Township Community Center
3660 Jacksonville Road
Bethlehem, PA 18017
PUC Administrative Law Judge F. Joseph Brady will preside over both public input hearings.
Rate Increase Requests On May 9, 2019, the Commission voted to suspend the proposed rate and revenue increase requests for water and wastewater services and to assign the case to the PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge for corresponding proceedings and the issuance of a recommended decision.
The Community Utilities’ requests, which were filed on April 1, 2019, would increase operating revenues for water service by approximately $362,019 per year (26.34%) and wastewater revenues by approximately $378,770 (20.8%) per year.
More information on the ratemaking process is available on the Commission’s website. A final decision by the Commission regarding the rate increase requests is due by Jan. 1, 2020.
Under the Community Utilities’ requests, the service territories formerly known as Penn Estates Utilities, Inc. and Utilities Inc. – Westgate would be consolidated into single rates for water and wastewater service.
The Community Utilities’ water request would increase the average monthly water bill for a customer in the former Penn Estates Utilities territory from $41.86 to $53.43 (27.64%), while the average monthly water bill for a customer in the former Utilities Inc. – Westgate territory would increase from $45.53 to $53.18 (16.78%).
Additionally, the wastewater request by Community Utilities would increase the average monthly bill for a wastewater customer in the Penn Estates service territory from $46.56 to $59.55 (27.9%), while the average monthly wastewater bill for a customer in the former Utilities Inc. – Westgate territory would increase from $52.59 to $59.55 (13.23%).
Community Utilities serves approximately 2,800 water customers and approximately 3,300 wastewater customers in portions of Monroe and Northampton counties.
Offering Comment at a Hearing Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings and provide information regarding the rate increase requests. Their testimony will become part of the record on which the PUC will issue its final decision.
The PUC and Office of Consumer Advocate offer tips on how to participate, including:
Prepare what you are going to say beforehand. Even though it is not required, you may want to write out your statement, which can be read. Bring copies if you are attending an in-person hearing. If you have a written statement you would like to give to the judge, please bring two copies for the court reporter and several copies for the other participants.
Understand that parties in the case may want to ask you a question to clarify something you said.
Any person with special needs wishing to attend the hearing may call the PUC scheduling office (717-787-1399) at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing to make arrangements. For persons who are deaf or hearing-impaired, the AT&T Relay Service number is 1-800-654-5988.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
Visit the PUC’s website at www.puc.pa.gov for recent news releases and video of select proceedings. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Search for the “Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission” or “PA PUC” on your favorite social media channel for updates on utility issues and other helpful consumer information.
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Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
P.O. Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265
(717) 787-5722 FAX (717) 787-4193