If approved as village requests, average water bill would increase 22%
The state’s Public Service Commission will accept comments on the Village of Saukville’s proposed water rate hike during a public hearing set for 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 25.
Comments will be accepted live in Madison or via a webcast connection at Village Hall, 639 E. Green Bay Ave.
The village has applied for an average rate hike of 22% based on a recommendation from its auditing firm, Schenck.
Two factors were cited as the cause for the requested rate hike — expenses associated with the construction of a new municipal water well and a drop in water use, especially by industrial customers.
According to the Schenck analysis, water utility revenues were expected to be about $200,000 lower last year than in 2012.
During that same time, total operating expenses rose from $869,000 to more than $1 million.
The PSC has recommended a 5.25% increase in the utility’s rate of return, which would boost projected revenues by more than $271,000.
If the rate hike is approved as recommended, quarterly water bills for the average residential user including fire protection would increase by 11% — from $82.45 to $91.50.
The PSC analysis noted that the hike would pose a greater burden on high-volume water users.
A large apartment building, for instance, would see its quarter water bill increase 23%, from $646 to $795.
A large industrial customer, using 60 million gallons of water a quarter, would see its water bill increase by 43% — from $88,600 to $127,100.
The utility provided 439 million gallons of water last year, an average of 1.2 million gallons a day. Keeping the fire hydrant system charged with water requires another 540,000 gallons, raising the average daily water demand to 1.7 million gallons.
The village last had a rate case brought before the PSC in 2010.
The state will be held in the Amnicon Falls Hearing Room of the PSC office, 610 N. Whitney Way, Madison.