"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lakes Region Water Company proposes 38% rate increase

Ouch. You may have seen Joe Cormier's comment about this.  LRWC estimates that customer bills will increase by an average of $239.06 per year or $59.77 per quarter. There will be a prehearing conference on September 30th at the State of New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. An Order Suspending Proposed Tariffs and Scheduling Prehearing Conference was issued on September 4th.
LRWC is small, about 1,700 customers. and about $1.3 million in gross revenues.
Will the NH PUC approve the petition for  permanent rate increase? Who knows. I used to think that public utilities were desirable as there are no worries about wells drying out , pumps failing, septics tanks to pump or replace.  I'm not sure though I'd want to pay $80 a month (and rising ) for water.

Let me be clear though, I am not against community wells or community septic systems. That may make sense in some areas in our town where we can then increase housing density and perhaps entice builders and investors. Far different from a small utility that may or may not be in financial difficulty.
The question and concern that I have is whether LRWC is financially solvent, and what would happen if they go belly up?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the almost $500,000 increase is LRWC property assessed valuation that the TOWN is coming up with from their new appraiser. This adds another $4,000 to their annual cost to provide services. Want to bet it will be also passed on to customers in terms of higher rates...that our Blogger raised this pass through as a potential concern about the new appraised values ?

Joseph Cormier said...

"The question and concern that I have is whether LRWC is financially solvent, and what would happen if they go belly up? "

That's exactly what I was thinking when I filed a complaint with the PUC about LRWC a while back; see the PDF's below.

If "the push" continued, Bankruptcy could have been an outcome.
In fairness to LRWC, they made good on fixing the problem and improved customer expectations.

http://www.puc.nh.gov/Regulatory/CASEFILE/2008/08-070/CONSUMER%20COMMENTS/08-070%202008-08-12%20CONSUMER%20COMMENT%20CORMIER.PDF

http://www.puc.nh.gov/Regulatory/CASEFILE/2008/08-070/LETTERS,%20MEMOS/08-070%202010-07-28%20STAFF%20PROPOSED%20PROCEDURAL%20SCHEDULE.PDF

Terence C. Jatko said...

LRWC going bankrupt? No problem. Let the town buy it! Put the "magic touch" of big government on it, and we can get the rates up to $200 per month.