Village awaiting word from state PSC on request to boost utility bill by 22%
The Village of Saukville’s auditor has laid out its case for a two-step water rate increase in a study submitted to the state’s Public Service Commission.
The rate hike study was presented at a recent Village Board meeting by David Maccoux of Schenck.
The auditors suggest the village needs to raise its water rates by 22%.
Two factors are driving the request — the expenses associated with the construction of municipal Well No. 6 and a reduction in utility revenue because of lower industrial water use.
According to the Schenck analysis, the village’s water utility operating revenue is expected to be nearly $200,000 lower this year than in 2012.
Reduced water used by the chemical company Arkema is expected to be responsible for $107,000 in those fallen revenues.
In that same time frame, total operating expenses are expected to grow from $869,000 to more than $1 million.
By boosting rates by 22%, it is projected the water utility would gain $252,000 in operating revenues.
According to the Schenck analysis, the village would implement the increase in two steps — about 59% immediately upon approval from the PSC and the remainder when work on Well No. 6 is complete.
Once in place, the proposed total water use charge would increase from $2.60 per 1,000 gallons to $3.17 per 1,000 gallons.
If approved by the PSC, the rate hike would increase the average quarterly residential water bill (with use of between 12,000 and 20,000 gallons) by between $18.69 and $23.25.
Water rates vary for high-volume commercial and industrial users, but a 22% increase.
As proposed, the village’s largest water user — Charter Steel — would see a nearly $22,000 quarterly increase in water charges, from $522,500 to $544,200.
Charter uses, on average, more than 67 million gallons of water a quarter.
According to the analysis, the Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA — which uses more than 860,000 gallons of water a quarter — would see its water bill increase by $530, to $8,420 a quarter.
Sewer rates would not be affected if the PSC approves the requested rate hike.
Following the Schenck presentation, village trustees recommended that the firm be authorized to file its rate case application.
It is expected to take the PSC three to four months to review the application, analyze the data and come up with a rate schedule.
The village will then need to schedule a public hearing before implementing the new rates. In all, it could take six months for the first phase increases to be in place.